Yes, you read that name right.
It’s oddly enjoyable drinking zombie beers. And by ‘zombie,’ I mean a beer from a brewery that has long since closed.
With as long as I’ve been covering Florida craft beer, and I have had the unfortunate instance to do that on many an occasion, reminiscing about some good product made by some excellent people at an excellent brewery that, for one reason or another, didn’t quite work out. One of those breweries, closing in the middle of 2018, was Red Cypress.
I, like a lot of other people, was taken aback quite a bit when the news of their closure was released. They had an excellent reputation, a fairly large distribution footprint of the state, and seemed poised to keep growing and growing.
And one day they were gone.
So here we are, with no more Death Roll or Devil’s Chair to enjoy. However, in the way back corners up a dusty beer shelf, I actually managed to find a bottle of Foret Sauvage (Wild Ale, 7.2% ABV).
Truth be told, I was hesitant to pick up the bottle and more than a little convinced this beer would have already skunked by the time I got it. Ironically enough, it was a post from the founder and brewer of another Florida brewery that has very sadly shuffled off this mortal coil that convinced me that, against my assumptions, saisons do tend to get better with age. And so, with a little trepidation and a lot of curiosity, into the beer fridge it went.
Upon proper cooling, and the beer still pours a hazy dark orange color. But this is a wild ale, so the aromas tend to favor a strong apple cider vinegar quality with punches of vanilla oak and prickly pear. A lot of that comes from barrel aging, and a blend of three different batches were aged in barrels between 8 and 16 months right about when the brewery first opened. It was bottle conditioned a little bit further, which means this beer existed for twice as long as Red Cypress ever did.
For as strong as the aroma is, the flavor has mellowed beautifully with age. Instead of a strong acidic punch, you get a lot of the bright electric flavors coming from a Brett inoculation, but with a wonderful undercurrent of grapefruit, orange, and a touch of Belgian style funk. It’s got a beautiful soured flavor, but one that has matured into a refreshing and very approachable saison.
It is a shame that Red Cypress is gone. Apparently somebody is contract brewing in the location. Maybe. I could be wrong, but the recipes are long since gone. And as this is probably going to be the last of Red Cypress that I will ever receive, it is sad to know they are gone as well.
The ghost in the proverbial machine.
Drink Florida Craft,
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