Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a big deal these days. It does things like providing direct support to local and community farms and giving families season long access to fresh fruits and vegetables. That is a good thing. It also lets you lord over your friends with things like how you KNOW where your food comes from, “I only eat seasonally available food”, and “my home is now only farm to table.”
The guys at Fetish Brewing Company (simply known as Aaron, Brandon, and Mike) have taken the CSA farming idea and applied it to brewing.
I did not sign up back in January when the chance appeared. Now after finding two of their brews at The Fridge and finally giving them a try I am starting to regret it.
You see, my initial thought when I first heard about the CSA approach to brewing was: “I am aggressively promiscuous with my beers. I have few loyalties and I don’t want to be tied down to any one brewer.” Also there is a high level of trust here… I am buying all my beer from these guys up front; I have to hope they will still be there through the end of twelve months.
That might have been shortsighted on my part. For two years these guy have delivered; so things appear to be working out. In fact so much so that they are now selling commercially, although in very, very limited quantities around Lancaster.
As such, I was able to procure a bottle of Submissive (American IPA) and Spelt (Farmhouse-Style Ale); each were reasonably priced for what were 1 pint 0.9 oz bottles.
First Submissive, it pours out an amber and cloudy ale with a stark white bubbly head the provided beautiful lacing throughout the drink. An aroma of resin from the hops is mild but pleasant. This IPA is not bombed out in piney and citrusy hops. This was at first strange. I figured prior to opening that I would be calling out a safe-word while the beer levied a heavy dose of punishing bitter hops, but I was wrong. I was expecting something along the lines of Palate Wrecker, Chinookie or Hopsickle. This was different. It was subtle and relaxed. It was not trying to get me to bend to its will, but was instead inviting and easy sipping. This was a submissive beer. It was not abrasive or astringent and at 6.5% ABV was about the subtle flavors. Hints of pine, lemongrass and a long but not overly dry finish make this beer very easy drinking. This was a good beer.
Next came Spelt; a brew presumably made with the old world grain by the same name. A few years ago Troegs brewed Scratch Beer #118 with spelt. Scratch #118 was a Saison but was much more inviting and easy drinking. What Fetish has done here is make a Farmhouse ale for people that like funky ales. The beer poured bright golden hue with a furious bubbling head that quickly dissipated. The nose is of yeast and some bread dough along with a slight farmhouse funk as is to be expected. The spelt grain provides a wheat like flavor and adds a level of complexity to the ever so slightly sour, crisp lemon and faint pepperiness. The finish is long and dry with earthy tones making this 7.22% ABV a real sipper. As the beer warms to room temperature it opens up and all the flavors embolden. Spelt gets the Bearcat Seal of Approval
So would I, a proclaimed bachelor when it comes to beers be willing to be tied down to Fetish Brewing for a year? Yeah… I could submit to that idea.