Having been to Bone Hook Brewing in Naples right before their grand opening, I feel more than a little proud to have watched this brewery grow up and expand into the massive 10,000 square-foot Brewpub that they currently are, with continued plans for growth well into 2019.
I got quite the run down from their head brewer Josh Deitner and managing partner Dan Bilzor, a tour whose resulting blog post I am currently putting finishing touches on. Before leaving, however, I did get a nice little going-away present from Josh, a bottle of their 2018 release of Repta Rage (Sour, 6.5% ABV).
Named for a former taproom employee for whom such pronounced anger was apparently not uncommon, this sour ale is fermented in steel with Saison yeast for a very short time, then racked into California Bordeau casks with an interesting yeast blend of Brett, Pedio, and Lacto.
Had I known the yeast bill going in, I might have been a little more nervous. But the blend was expertly done, and what you got with the bottle was a calming tartness, heavy on citrus-style flavors and a great Saaz hop-forward floral character, finished with a light funkiness that is more inviting than off-putting.
This is a sour ale for those who want to enjoy nuance and flavor, who want to have a malt that is present and inviting. This is mercifully not a dare or bottled vinegar. There is a light woodiness, and those yeast flavors blend quite nicely with the touch of vanilla.
I was very fortunate to get a bottle, and it made a great ale to open up on Christmas day. Judging from how Bone Hook is treating it, Repta Rage looks to be a big seasonal bottle release every year, and a release well worth looking forward to. But making excellent beers worth looking forward to seems to be de rigueur for everything going on at Bone Hook these days.
Once I finish the article, you’ll see what I mean. In the meantime, there’s no reason not to be in Naples in the very near future.