Crooked Stave – Wild Wild Brett Violet aged with Passion Fruit
It’s easy to see why Crooked Stave has built such a huge following in such a short amount of time. Their motto “Cultured in Yeast” really tells the story, as they are known for brewing beer almost exclusively with unique and wild yeast strains. Many of their beers are fermented, at least in part, by wild strains of Brettanomyces. Other, more coveted beers, are barrel aged with souring bacteria to produce mouth-watering libations. From coast-to-coast, people are seeking out Crooked Stave’s beers and their specialty bottle release beers may as well be trade gold. Of the specialty releases, the Wild Wild Brett series of beers is the granddaddy of them all. So when the unexpecting passer-by (me) shows up at the taproom on a random Sunday night before picking up a friend from the airport and sees the chalk-board sign that reads “Wild Wild Brett Violet aged with Passion Fruit”, the bartender knew exactly what I wanted when my response to “What will you have to drink?” was “Is that some kind of joke?”
Wild Wild Brett Violet aged with Passion Fruit beer pours a beautiful golden honey color with a thick dense head. Aromas of sweet, over-ripe citrus fruits assault my olfactory senses with force. The sweet and juicy is balanced with sharp and tart aromas hinting at the lactic sourness present. The flavor is more of the same. JUICY. The fruitiness of this beer is simply childish. I suddenly envision childhood, playing with toys in a sandbox, not a care in the world nor responsibility. My childhood memories fade with the fruitiness and are followed by a malt-cracker sweetness through the middle of the beer and finish with hints of chalky candy. I swing abruptly back to childhood memories faster than the upswing from an underdog push. The area surrounding my mouth is suddenly sticky and colorful with Fun Dip, Cotton Candy, Pixie Sticks and Sweet Tarts. Just as soon as my mom can wipe the sticky residue from around my mouth the beer finishes bone dry. All I want to do is embrace the ride over and over again. I take the next sip. Upon finishing my glass, I can only imagine that my face resembles that time when I asked for the new LEGO Pirate set for Christmas but instead got a pair of socks.
I like to think that this beer would pair best with orange slices and fruit snacks after a club soccer game on a hot fall Saturday. Now if Crooked Stave would only supply their beers in foil packages akin to Capri-Sun….
If you’re ever an unexpecting passer-by in the Taproom and see anything that says Wild Wild Brett or WWB, embrace your inner child and go for an adventure.