Arctic Soiree – Grassroots Brewing and Anchorage Brewing Company
This “ale fermented and aged in oak tanks with brettanomyces, lime juice and hibiscus” is another collaboration beer between Alaska-based Anchorage and Grassroots, a Vermont farmstead brewery. Arctic Soiree pours a gorgeous, burnished color that is equal parts ruby red grapefruit flesh and ruddy apricot, with a mid-sized, bone white head. It has a bright nose of barnyard must, brettanomyces, citrus juice, grapefruit, and oak tannins. Sweet, candy-like citrus and white wine grapes push to the front on the first swallow, backed by tart and flowery notes courtesy of the lime juice and hibiscus. Papaya, oak, aspirin tablets, cantaloupe, and other more rounded melon flavors emerge on later swallows. This is a very refreshing and original beer, a worthy successor to last year’s Grassroots/Anchorage collaboration Arctic Saison, with none of the potentially offensive and discordant components over-asserting themselves.