Hop Savant – Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Purchased at Taylor’s Market in Sacramento ($8.99/12.7 oz. bottle) and poured into mini wine glasses.
This “100% Brettanomyces Pale Ale” from Denver-based sour specialists Crooked Stave pours a cloudy, citrus juice orange-yellow. The smell is very earthy and farmhouse-based, predominantly soil, mangoes, grapefruit rind, and grape must. Hop Savant has a uniquely sharp, citrus and cheese rind-like bitterness on the first swallow, with the sourness coming in several waves. A big grapefruit pulp presence dominates the next few sips, with dry wood and bitter fruits on the finish. Despite the name, the brettanomyces, the oak foeder fermentation, and the grapefruit bitterness make the strongest impressions, not the hops. Some band-aid aftertaste seeps into the palette towards the end, meaning this 12.7 oz. bottle is best shared among 3 to 4 friends.