Of the 20 years of R&B Brewing, I have known the R (Rick Dellow) and the B ( Barry Benson) for 15 of those years – almost 10 of those years was in a working capacity at the brewery. So, it was a great thrill to be apart of the 20th Anniversary celebration. The brewing team started working on this beer 9 months ago, to have it ready for the September release. The end result was a Saison bottled and corked like champagne, aged for 5 – 6 months with Brett (Brettanomycyes bruxellensis and claussenii) and then bottle conditioned in natural pear juice. Only available in bottles, but suitable for cellaring and, just like R&B, it will continue to improve with age.
– Lundy Dale
R&B BREWING: 20th Anniversary Brett Saison
ABV: 9% | IBU:32 | SRM:4 | Plato:17.4 / SG1.072
It is quibbling, perhaps, to complain about the cages some breweries put on their cork-finished bottles, not to mention how tightly the corks tend to be rammed into the bottles. But damn, I needed a pair of pliers to get into this one! Once breached, though, it yielded a hazy and light gold ale with a floral, almost perfumey mustiness to it, akin to a vase of wildflowers into which someone had stuck some wet and slightly mouldy hay. (That might not sound particularly good, but believe me, it is.) The start is sweet and full of peachy fruit, but that quickly gives way to a drier mid-palate that is part peppery spice, part lemon and lime zest and part white grapes and their lees. The finish grows drier still, with a solid hit of warming strength – which frankly surprised me until I read the label and discovered this gentle brute to be a formidable 9% alcohol. R&B may have had its ups and downs over the past two decades, but for those lucky enough to get their hands on a bottle, this anniversary brew is a solid and fitting testimony to and celebration of the brewery’s tenacity.
Brewed in celebration of R&B Brewing’s 20th anniversary, this small batch Saison offers all the classic attributes of the style – citrus aromas and flavours (lemons and oranges) and a light peppery spice. The ale has then been aged with Brettanomyces yeast strains which add a funky character reminiscent of a barnyard with a rustic earthiness and a gentle, fruity sourness. This ale has a delicate balance with the Brett characteristics complementing the Saison style – kudos to the brewers because it would be easy to overwhelm the base style and end up with a Brett bomb. It pours pale gold with a full, frothy, white head that persists throughout. The high carbonation offers an effervescent quality that masks the strength of this ale, and the overall impression is refreshing and smooth with a light tart sourness and just enough funk to heighten the appeal of this brew