The pride of Powell River, Townsite Brewing has certainly not sided on the safe path when it comes to their lineup of brews. Having savoured their Zwarte Wheat I can tell you first hand they are an adventurous group.
Tart like a tiger
Pouring the light brown beverage, the tan foamy head dominated my glass. Giving way to big boisterous bubbles that settled into a frothy film.
A super tarty fragrance gives off one of the main qualities of this Belgian ale which is a bi-product of the brett yeast used for bottle conditioning. Brett (brettanomyces bruxellensis) comes from the skin of fruits and has a tart flavor which early brewers considered spoilage, however, it is a mainstay in many Belgium ales, especially the trendy saison products from many craft breweries.
Lil’ Red 3.0 also gives off a grassy, floral, almost earthy scent. Quite pleasant actually.
At first blush the caramel-malty taste is dominant but is quickly overwhelmed by the tarty-ness and fruity qualities. The sweetness of the initial caramel-malty flavours, hovering on the tastebuds. An odd combination, but once you get used to it, there really not as strange a bed fellows as one would expect.
Being a bottle conditioned beverage you will want to be careful emptying the bottle for a guest as some unexpected yeast residue is sure to join the party in the glass. This isn’t the end of the world though. You could maybe impress your friends with something like “Don’t worry, this a bottle conditioned Belgian ale, that’s to be expected.”. #beerpro
Certainly not a beverage for everyone’s palate but it definitely didn’t offend the Panda’s. It took a while to get used to it, but this really is the type of beer that would warm up nicely to some pasta or seafood. At 6% ABV they call it a “strong beer”, and the alcohol is evident but not dominant.
Would I buy it again? For a special occasion but not on a regular basis.
Well, that’s it for now, gonna go quench that panda sized thirst… cheers eh!