With the celebration of their sixth year in operation the evil geniuses at Surly Brewing Company released SŸX a 15% behemoth of a strong ale aged with 6 different types of wood last Monday. Yesterday, it was announced via head brewmaster Todd Haug’s twitter account (@surlybrewer) that last year’s anniversary beer called Pentagram will become an annual fall/winter release in 750 ml bottles.
Pentagram is a dark ale fermented in red wine barrels also using 100% brettanomyces yeast. If you’re unfamiliar with what brettanomyces yeast is, you’re probably not alone. In the beer industry brettanomyces is primarily avoided because in most styles of beer it is considered an off-flavor or a weakness that a beer has developed either due to lack of sanitation or some other kind of contamination during the brewing cycle. However, in some styles brettanomyces is introduced to enhance the flavor and bring unique flavor characteristics to a certain beer. If you’ve ever had a sour, lambic, gueuze, or certain types of saison or farmhouse ales you’ve probably tasted brettanomyces already. It’s flavor is commonly described as “tart,” “sour,” and “funky.”
Pentagram will weigh in at 7.5% ABV and be very mildly hopped with Willamette hops. It will have hints of sour cherries, tobacco, with a brettanomyces funk and will be balanced with dark munich malts. It can be enjoyed right away or aged for up to a few years. Or you could do what I did for the SŸX release and buy 2 bottles and drink one right away and stick one away to be enjoyed with age.
For some crazy reason I can’t wait for winter to hit.