D9 Brewing Co. | Systema Naturae 4th Edition
D9 Brewing Co. hits on all cylinders with their Systema Naturae program. As a reminder, Systema Naturae “emphasizes the exploration of scientific processes and ingredients exhibited throughout the natural world.” What that means in practical terms is they embrace a style of brewing which incorporates wild or uncommon yeasts, bacterias, and flora (plants and fruits) to concoct some of North Carolina’s finest sour beers.
A little over a year after debuting the series, D9 Brewing has arrived at their 4th Edition, one which infuses the beer with elderflower and the elusive cherimoya fruit. If, like me, you’ve never heard of cherimoya, then allow me to introduce you to it with a quote (printed on the packaging) by one of America’s most treasured literary figures, Mark Twain.
“We had an abundance of fruit in Honolulu, of course. Oranges, pine-apples, bananas, strawberries, lemons, limes, mangoes, guavas, melons, and a rare and curious luxury called the cherimoya, which is deliciousness itself.”
ABV: 5.5% | IBU: little-to-none
“Deliciousness itself” is a bold claim. So bold that I’ve made it my ambition to find one and eat it. If any of you, dear readers, has already tried it, please share your experience in the comments below. If that day never comes for me, God forbid, I can content myself with a beer which channels that sentiment.
The beer starts with a smooth pour and little head. It looks like burnt caramel, but with light it’s more reddish copper. It smells of malt and floral sweetness with hints of acidity. Taste underscores those sensations while adding a delicate fruitiness. The acidity is restrained enough to be accessible but not so much as to defang the beer entirely. It drinks easy, thanks to its medium-light body, and it doesn’t linger long. In short, the 4th Edition is another solid chapter in the book that is Systema Naturae.
Beyond all that, the packaging holds secrets which I found as I scanned the empty box for information. There’s a poem and a picture printed subtly on the divider. I’ve pasted both below with a transcription of the poem for those can’t make it out.
The king and his men met the
Elder Witch and she said:
Seven long strides shalt thou take,
If Long Compton thou can see
King of England thou shalt be.
And the king shouted:
Stick, stock, stone,
As King of England I shall be known.
But when he had taken the seven strides,
all he could see was the Archdruid’s
Barrow, which blocked his view of the
village in the valley below.
The witch cried:
As Long Compton thou canst not see,
King of England thou shalt not be.
Rise up stick, and stand still stone,
For King of England thou shalt be none.
Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be
And I myself an eldern tree.
So the King became the solitary King
Stone, his men the Rollright Stones circle,
and his knights the Whispering Knights
The poem is said to have been written in 1610 by William Camden, and is a folktale about the origins of the Rollright Stones in South East England. The image depicts the solitary King Stone mentioned in the tale. For more info, see the Rollright Stones wiki.
Look to your local bottle shop or bar to find 4-pack of your own. Cheers!
Cover photo credit: D9 Brewing Co.