I’m not gonna lie when it comes to funky brewing I am not as well versed as I would like to be so when I cracked open my first Brett style beer, Rivertown’s Brett T-Shirt Contest, I decided to do a little research to see what I was getting myself into.
Brett is short for Brettanomyces. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, I’d definetly be wrong! Easily stated the beer is brewed with a wild yeast similar to what you might see your typical lambics or other sours. A Brett beer is not sour by nature, but can be a little funky while it’s fresh. The real magic happens over time as I was told my Mr. Gnarly Gnome and Rivertown’s Lindsey Roeper. As the beer ages in the bottle the Brett yeast will slowly feed on what’s left of the already fermented beer. Because of this the flavor profile changes over time and brings out the wild side of the beer. If you want to look more into the subject there are a ton of awesome articles out there on the internet that can give you the specifics!
When I heard that Rivertown was about to release another 100% Brett fermented beer I knew I had to try it! I was lucky enough to be able to get a little preview earlier this week of this awesome beer! So let’s talk about Night Marcher!
First off the label is simply awesome. Their artist, Conrad, is a super talented individual and you can find some of his work here! As you turn the bottle sideways there is a really cool story about who the Night Marchers were and when you read it it just brings the art together.
The Night Marchers, or Or Hukai-Po, the spirits of ancient Hawaiian warriors said to roam the islands at night in search of entrance to the next world. In life, these warriors were tasked with protecting the Ali’i, the most revered, high ranking chiefs. In death, the night marchers carry fire and walk to the beat of primitive drums seeking admittance to the afterworld.
If you listened to the Cincy Brewcast where we sat down with Lindsey Roeper you got a little bit of insight as to what the story was behind Night Watcher. If you didn’t then go listen here right now! If you’d rather read here’s what Lindsey had to say!
This beer was inspired by a trip Jason & I took to Las Vegas, where we spent a few hours at Frankie’s Tiki Room (recommended by our Aide de Camp, Lisa Nielsen). During our delicious tiki drink experience, Lisa & I were texting saying we need to make a Tiki beer called “Lisa & Lindsey’s Tiki Dream”. When we got back from our trip, it was a few days later (this is April-ish) that Jason walks in with BAGS full of fruit and spices from Jungle Jims. As he was talking to us about the recipe, we were all like, this beer is going to be Tiki AF (except we didn’t say AF), so internally, we started calling the beer that. When it came time to start working on the label, Lisa introduced us to Conrad and when we shared the initial concept, the beer was going to be called Lua-o-Milu (land of the dead in Hawaiian Mythology). Fast forward a bit, Conrad gets us his initial sketches & we were BLOWN away & also realized that the story of Lua-o-Milu didn’t really match the label. So we went back to the drawing board & came across the legend of the Night Marchers, it was INSTANT “YES THIS IS IT!!”
The beer itself is described as a 100% Brett fermented citra dry hopped Island Pale Ale brewed with (are you ready for this list?): jack fruit, papaya, pineapple, coconut, mandarin orange, guava, lemon peel, lime peel, ginger root, Jamaican allspice, fennel, saffron and toasted coriander…I’ll let that impressive list of awesomeness sink in for a second.
So how does it taste? It’s fruity deliciousness! It smells and tastes like the summer. It’s the perfect beer as the summer is winding down. As you take the first few sips the fruit hits you, but then you do get a little hint of funk as you take a few more drinks I almost wouldn’t call it funk as it had more of a Belgian feel to it . Not crazy strong, but just enough that you know it’s there. As someone who is still wishy washy on their wild beers I absolutely loved Night Marcher. I don’t know how it can get better, but it can. If you grab yourself a bomber let it age a bit and that funk will get stronger and who knows what will be in store then!
I honestly didn’t know that Rivertown could convince me to knock Roebling down a notch as my favorite beer from them, but I think while Night Marcher is out Roebling will have to take the back seat for a little bit! So do yourself a favor, get down to the taproom and try some Night Marcher. Grab yourself a bottle as well! Bottles should be on local store shelves now and will be making their way to their 7 states of distribution!
So what’s on the horizon for Rivertown? Hopefully I will be able to go into detail soon, but what I can say now is if you like ciders….you’re gonna be excited. Let me introduce you to Tequilana:
She’s going to be a wonderful cider brewed with apples and blue agave!
Keep an eye out this week as I am hoping to sit down with Lindsey once again to talk about some other fun stuff on the way!
As for now cheers all!