Visiting a brewery is usually the best possible way to taste a beer, since you’re encountering the finished product at its absolute freshest. But what if there is no brick and mortar brewery? No tasting bar overlooking a forest of stainless steel tanks? That’s the situation faced by gypsy brewers.
Gypsy brewers are craft brewers that essentially rent out space in another brewery. They find somewhere with idle equipment, brew their beer, allow it to ferment, bottle and keg it, and they’re done. Successful breweries like Massachusetts based Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project and Maryland based Stillwater Artisanal, have been gypsy brewing for years. Grimm Artisanal Ales is newer to the scene, just starting up in 2013.
Owners Joe and Lauren Grimm construct and refine recipes in their Brooklyn apartment, then head off to another brewery’s space to recreate their beers on a larger production scale. As they state on their website, each beer is “a small batch, limited edition brew inspired by the freewheeling, creative brewing traditions of Belgium.”
Grimm Artisanal Ales bottles can be found in Western New York, and their latest release is a perfect way to celebrate summer’s final holiday this weekend. Orgone Accumulator is an orange flavored saison with the juice and zest of 240 pounds of organic Valencia oranges added in the brewing of this beer.
The beer pours out a golden orange color with a small white head. While there is a scent of orange peel in the aroma, it’s in the background behind the earthy, black pepper spiciness of the yeast. Juiced oranges are in the taste as well, but again not over the top, instead well balanced with the grainy malt flavor and spicy yeast. The beer is well carbonated, and the champagne like small bubbles and dry finish, make this a refreshing end of summer sipper, like a beer-themed mimosa.
Where can you find a bottle of Grimm Artisanal Ales? I enjoyed this bottle of Orgone Accumulator at Aurora Brew Works (ABW) in East Aurora. Similar to gypsy brewers turning the idea of a brewery upside down, ABW isn’t your normal bottle shop. Equipped with one of the largest craft beer selections in the area, bottles are available to go, or to be enjoyed right at the tasting bar, or on their front patio. ABW also has six constantly changing taps whose products can be enjoyed at the bar by the flight or full pour, or taken home in a growler.
This weekend, if you’re looking to try something different to bid summer farewell, seek out a bottle of Grimm Artisanal Ales Orgone Accumulator. The effervescent farmhouse ale with a backdrop of fresh orange flavor goes perfect with a sunny afternoon. Don’t be scared off by the gypsy brewers, they’re like the food trucks of the craft beer world. The buildings don’t make the products better, the people making them do.
Grimm Artisanal Ales Orgone Accumulator, $9.99 for 22 oz. bottle, Aurora Brew Works, 191 Main St., East Aurora, 716-652-2337
Matt Kresconko also writes about beer as Buffalo Brewhound at wnycraftbeer.com. Follow him on Twitter @BfloBrewHound.