This week, I'm taking a look at a beer made as a collaboration between two of my favorite Florida west coast breweries: Green Bench Brewing and Saint Somewhere Brewing. Both have a focus on the funky, so it was with delight that I discovered this oak-fermented farmhouse ale.
Monsieur Ed comes packaged as a one-pint, 16.9-ounce bottle, complete with a high-quality label that has become trademark for Green Bench.
It's labeled as an oak-fermented farmhouse ale, but further digging shows that the beer is touted as being a "Foeder fermented Saison w/ horse feed and Brett." Well, that horse feed explains the label, then. A foeder is a large oak fermentation vessel, with saison another term for farmhouse ales, and Brett is short for brettanomyces, a slow-fermenting yeast that gives "wild and funky" flavors to the beer it works on.
It comes in at 5.8 percent alcohol by volume. As the beer enters the glass, it pours a clear yellow-gold color, showing off a highly effervescent body with a thick, meringue-like crown. Aromas are intensely floral, with character of lemon-pepper and bright native citrus.
The flavor is light and crisp, with the effervescence coming through heavily. Words to describe this complex symphony of flavors would include perfume-like, lavender, floral, hints of
Don't let the horse feed put you off; this is a prodigious taste of what farmhouse beers can be, and it's incredibly approachable in what it offers. If you find a bottle, snatch it up: The contents will be worth it.
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Monsieur Ed is currently available in single 16.9-ounce bottles at your local specialty beer store.
Green Bench Brewing Co. is located at 1133 Baum Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Call 727-800-9836, or visit greenbenchbrewing.com.
Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. is located at 1441 Savannah Ave, Tarpon Springs. Call 813-503-6181, or visit saintsomewherebrewing.com.
Doug Fairall is a craft-beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server and has been a homebrewer since 2009. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.