7. Bu Weisse (De Garde)
Normally stoic beer enthusiasts greeted De Garde’s arrival last year with the adoring hysterics I’d normally expect in response to Obama appearances or touring Brooklyn synth-pop duos. Even for Oregon, Trevor Rogers and Linsey Hamacher took a daring approach. For two years, the pair drove up and down the coast with jugs of wort and left them in fields and outside friends’ houses and hotels, all in order to find the perfect wild bacteria for their Belgian-influenced beers.
At a mere 2.1 percent ABV, their flagship Bu Weisse is at the low end of the alcohol spectrum. But to speak of it in purely quantitative terms is to ignore Rogers’ obvious devoted care and attention. It’s a beautiful hazy gold in appearance thanks to the inclusion of raw Oregon wheat, and bubbly and tart on the tongue, with just a hint of that characteristic brettanomyces old-gym-sock funk. It’s simply one of the most sophisticated summer beers around.
As is to be expected with the perfect summer beer, the Bu Weisse also carries fruit very well. Rogers racks off a portion of each batch to nearby wineries to be aged with local fruit like blueberries and cranberries before bottling. And soon you won’t have to wait between February and June—De Garde also plans on offering an Imperial Bu Weisse, weighing in at a comparatively hefty 5.5 percent ABV and also aged with blackberry, boysenberry and raspberry.
“As we grow the production of Bu Weisse this spring, we expect the regular version to be more regularly available,” Rogers says, “and we will have a growing range and higher quantity of fruited versions.” Even if he had a magic wand, it’s highly doubtful Rogers could produce enough beer to satiate all the people who will want to drink it. ADRIENNE SO.