There can only be one undistributed beer of the week. The competition is fierce in San Diego's beer community, but someone has to take the title. This week's best undistributed beer is...
Council Brewing: St. Nick's Punch
Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
ABV: 6.2 %
Pair with: Gouda and maroilles cheese or a rosemary and garlic chicken dish
St. Nick's Punch is a wine lover's beer. The rose-colored beer is tart, yet smooth with a noticeable sweet, robust grape flavor and a dry Malbec finish. There's a little bit of funk in the taste, as expected from the Brett yeast in the beer.
This beer comes to us from Liz Chism at Council Brewing as a collaboration between Liz and her brewing assistant, Tyler Carter. The yeast is where this beer gets all its character from, according to Liz. This brew is made with a basic malt bill of Pilsner and wheat, then fermented with both a Brettanomyces yeast strain and a White Labs 565 Belgian Saison yeast, which make for an interesting, farmhouse-meets-funky taste when combined. Next, grape must from Malbec grapes is added in.
The tasty beer-to-be is then left to mature and age for about four months until the Brett taste fully develops. Voila! St. Nick's Punch is born. Oh, and no, the name is not an ode to Santa Claus. Tyler named this brew which is a play off of their beer Nincene. The Nincene references the creed adopted at the Council of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor, Constantine. During the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, a huge, heated fight broke out. Records say that Arius was punched in the face by St. Nicholas at the council. Thus, St. Nick's Punch. This beer is available on tap for a limited time at Council Brewing.
Council Brewing, 7705 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa. councilbrew.com