Beer of the Week: Pikwla

Rincon Reservation Road Brewery farmhouse ale embodies fleeting spring season

From the Beer Writer: Just as sunny skies turn imbibers’ thoughts from brown liquor to fruity umbrella-drinks, come spring and summer, fruited beers can really hit the spot. Be it berries, citrus or tropical imports, they pair best with pool- and beach-side R&R seshes. Nowadays, most fruited beers are of the kettle-sour (Berliner-style weisse, gose) variety, which can be a beautiful thing, but (as evidenced by the rise in the popularity of hard seltzers) fruit fans aren’t always in the mood to pucker up. That leaves fruited blondes or wheat beers, which can be a little dull, or fruited IPAs, which can be overly hoppy and, often, a tad too high in ABV for their intended purposes. For my money, no beer style is as well suited for fruiting than the humble saison. This broad ale category is built on yeast strains indigenous to Belgium and France. Esters from those microorganisms give off intensely citrusy esters that accentuate any fruit added to the resultant beer, as well as spice characteristics that act as a counterbalance, keeping sweetness in check. It would appear the team at Valley Center’s Rincon Reservation Road Brewery agrees with my assessment. They recently released their second fruited saison, Pikwla. Made with raspberries (its predecessor was infused with blueberries), it starts out bright and big on berries before an almost tannic sensation that teams with yeast-borne pepperiness to balance things out. It’s makes for a fun sensory experience and a solid option for beer fans in search of a fruity beverage that’s more beer than liquid WarHead. 

From the Brewer: “Named after the Luiseño word for berry, the sweet and tart notes of raspberry are prominent on the nose of this raspberry saison. Enticing notes of raspberry jam and light spice are present on the nose. Similarly, this full-bodied, thirst-quenching beer brings forward fruit leather on the body that’s coupled with a Belgian-spiced finish. Pikwla’s fresh-plucked raspberry flavor brings the feeling of a fresh spring afternoon to any occasion.”Zeth DeVorie, Head Brewer, Rincon Reservation Road Brewery

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