The anniversary is upon us again. Seven years of brilliantly and locally brewed beer.

As many of you probably know there has been a change of ownership at the brewery in the past year. While ownership changes can be detrimental, at time, they can also send a business off on a new trajectory that is satisfying and successful.

Here’s my belief: Tim Schritter started Black Bridge exactly the way he should have. He took British beers and made them more extreme. For example, he took British IPAs and made them happier and he made them with bigger alcohol content. He took barley wines using non-traditional hops. He made huge stouts, one with a ridiculous amount of hops (Locomotive Stout. Bring. It. Back!) He’s made a huge stout in bourbon barrels. He garnered attention with the extreme and outrageous beers. They were just what they were supposed to be: British and Scottish beers, next level.

Karry Hovig has been helping and brewing at Black Bridge from the beginning. Now he and Jesh run the brewery and Karry has taken the beers to a more German and Belgian tradition. He kept some of the IPA’s but added Belgian abbey’s and wit’s, some smoked beers, some sours. They were just what Black Bridge needed to keep it relative and exciting.

We are now at year seven and Black Bridge’s anniversary beer epitomizes the shift noted above. The beer is an imperial saison, which basically means it’s a funky farmhouse ale that is approachable and subtly powerful. Emphasis on subtle, in my opinion.

That Smell …

It’s earthy with hints of pear. Better noses than I stated there is banana as well.

In Appearance …

Lots of head, white, rocky, sustaining; a tawny, ochre tincture. Not quite as dark as I’d thought, not the rosy wine I’d hoped, but inviting nonetheless.

But The Taste …

First, it’s got a light body for such a strong beer. This is an imperial saison with an alcohol content of around ten percent. But you’d not guess that from the body. It’s light without being effervescent. Perfect. The alcohol presence can be discerned but it takes some attention. Pepper and oak blend into an ethereal essence on the tongue.

The Conclusion of the Matter …

Fantastic. It’s not in your face, but it is definitely flavorful. It’s a philosophical beer demanding you consider it’s many facets and ask the great question: what is beer? Brilliant. I salute their continued efforts.

They have not been stopped by a change of ownership, nor by the insane hysteria of this COVID thing, nor by anything else. Determined, unstoppable, intransigent. There are no brakes on the juggernaut of Black Bridge.

It’s available on Saturday, August 8. Starting at 9 am. Cheers!

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