Welcome to part 95 of my infinity part series looking at new and exciting craft beers made right here in little Rhody. Today we revisit our friends at Grey Sail, one of the first of the new generation of breweries here in RI, and a talented bunch of zymurgists.
I was delighted to see a new Grey Sail Brew grace the tap lines at the Malted Barley, and even more delighted to see them kick the trend of hop-happy IPAs and release, of all things, a kolsch. Now, the kolsch doesn’t get a lot of love these days, but it’s a solid style full of subtle possibilities and quite refreshing in the warm weather. It was a perfect day for it, too, as the sun set over Pawcatuck and the cool evening air began to sweep in.
I managed to get the last glass of the last keg, but nonetheless, the hazy yellow brew was a crisp, delicious surprise. Oddly citrusy for a kolsch, but just as light, smooth and crisp as it should be. The lemony undertones only added to the experience and made the entire glass a genuine pleasure on a perfect June evening.
I’d love to tell you all about the little details, like the ABV, IBUs or some wonderful story behind the creation of the brew, but upon doing my follow-up research, I found absolutely no record of this beer.
Perplexed, I checked the Grey Sail website, beeradvocate, untapp’d and even the Barley’s beverage list, but it had been updated just before, and there was no listing of a beer called “Both Sides of the Tracks.” Was this some beautiful hallucination?
Undeterred, I sought to contact the very source.
“It was the Craft Beer Week beer that we brewed for Flipside, Malted Barley and 84 Aleworks,” said Jennifer Brinton, revered matron of Grey Sail, “A tangerine kolsch. Very limited brew — only three barrels.”
Three barrels. Had I been five minutes later to the Malted Barley that day, I would have missed it entirely. It was pure chance.
A tangerine kolsch — well that certainly explains the citrus. I was impressed enough before hearing the details, but now knowing, I’m surprised at how well blended the tangerine was with the rest of the flavors. Once again, I salute you wonderful alchemists at Grey Sail, and hope to get my taste buds on more innovative creations.