Right Proper Brewing | Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne
A beer inspired by an electronic synthpunk musical duo? The concept is not a complete surprise, as it comes from Right Proper Brewing Company‘s Nathan Zeender and the growing establishment‘s experimental brewing program. But the beer; Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne; is definitely a surprise to the palate, as it comes during the East Coast’s single-digit February temperatures. Why was Zeender inspired by Suicide? Why did Right Proper brew the crisp wheat beer?
Here’s the story.
It was early January, after the holidays, and Zeender tells PorchDrinking.com that Right Proper team wanted to mimic the “floral, dry and acidic qualities of Champagne.”
They had been experimenting with brews fermented 100 percent with lactobacillus, which is an acetic acid culture known for souring a lambic beer. So they moved toward a tart, rustic wheat beer with elderflowers and Meyer lemons.
“Botanical drinks in particular hold a fascination for me,” Zeender said. “In the past, we have made beers that mimic the flavor of dry vermouth, and others that reference the ancient sacred bitter herbed grits of the Middle Ages and before.”
Right Proper looked to the Berliner Weisse tradition (supposedly termed the “Champagne of the north” during Napoleonic times). These are low-alcohol wheat beers, floral and with strong lactic characters. Really, they are perfect daytime drinking brews with more complex, punchy flavors.
Right Proper dry-hopped the beer with Nelson Sauvin hops, which added grape notes to fill out the palette. It arrived with a 3.6 ABV, perfect for a tasting a 2 p.m. on a chilly Saturday.
“The name references one of my favorite bands Suicide,” Zeender said. “Their first two records in particular were completely original and groundbreaking at their conception in the late 70s. They engendered the spirit of the lower east side of the time raw: theatric, antagonistic, unafraid .. a bit scary really. They are artists I respect equally for their minimalism as well as their seeming lack of concern for commercial viability.”
The beer isn’t necessarily scary, but it’s definitely original for East Coast taps in the frigid winter. It’s tart and citrusy, with a bubbly bounce that remains on the tongue. It pairs extremely well with salty items, such as Right Proper’s homemade kettle chips. With its low ABV, it can be enjoyed all afternoon.