At its core, craft beer is fundamentally about experimentation and pushing the limits of what beer can be while having fun doing so. Take for example Brickyard Brewing Company’s American Music, a unique hybrid beer series that combines elements of Farmhouse Saisons and New England IPAs. American Music, Take Five, which features Lemondrop and Nelson Sauvin hops, is the latest entry in the series, which has quickly become a favorite of Head Brewer John Paul Meteer.
“It’s our favorite beer to brew. Hazy juicy saison. Rotating hops,” he says. “True NEIPA meets saison mashup. I am in love with this beer. Saisons have been one of my favorite styles since I first starting going deep into craft beer in 2005-2006. Shout out to Alternative Brews for that!”
The beer, inspired by a lyric from the first line of the Violent Femmes’ track of the same name, features the same base recipes as the previous four iterations, though the brewing process has changed somewhat. Meteer says that American Music, Take Five offers traditional fruit notes from a NEIPA as well as the typical spice from a saison.
“Take Five maintains the original grain bill – European Pilsner, Vienna Malt and lots of unmalted wheat – and the same yeast (French Saison). Process has changed bit, but a huge whirlpool dosing is still the only hop addition. This version was brewed with Nelson Sauvin and Lemondrop hops. Tom (Former intern-turned-Assistant Brewer-turned-Brewer) said this version is, ‘like a spring garden on a cool misty morning.’ He isn’t wrong! There’s slight phenol and ester driven notes of herbs and spices, and a ridiculously satisfying current of citrus and melon running through it. It’s true to its roots as a farmhouse ale, while bordering on being juicy and crushable. At 6% ABV and a smooth 36 IBU, it is a true joy to drink on a warm summer night.”
Brickyard has been brewing their American Music series since shortly after they first opened, and, as Meteer explains, things got off to an auspicious start when it came to bringing his brainchild to fruition. Things were so bad in the beginning that he came ever so close to simply scrapping the entire brew.
“American Music, Take One (inspired by the opening line of one of the best songs of the 90’s) was a complete disaster of a brew day back in 2017. I decided to brew it on a whim one of the first weekends we were open, and a massive mechanical failure kept our kettle from lighting. By the time we finally got the beer to a boil, I had been going at it for 13 hours. I had no idea if the beer would even be worth finishing. So, I decided to throw in a massive whirlpool of Citra and Motueka, and send it to the fermenter. It ended up being something akin to a New England IPA with a saison build, and one of the brewing staff’s favorite beers ever. It inspired a rotating-hops saison that we brew occasionally in the summer.”
American Music, Take Five is on tap right now and available for growler and crowler fills to go.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for Step Out Buffalo. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague) and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).