Courtesy of Three Taverns Brewery
Three Taverns Brewery hit a milestone this month: one year in business as Georgia’s only Belgian-themed craft brewery. To ring in the occasion, owner Brian Purcell and head brewer Joran Van Ginderachter tested out new beers during anniversary festivities last Saturday.
Couldn’t make it to the sold-out fete? Some of the styles that just debuted will return in the coming months, following the release of a late summer seasonal, a peach saison called Le Peche Mode. Here’s a rundown of what Three Taverns fans can expect at the start of year two, which already looks mighty promising.
Prince of Pilsen Currently available on draft under the name “Pils Mundial,” this Euro-style Pilsner (5 percent ABV) was originally brewed to celebrate the World Cup. Dry hopped with Falconer’s Flight 7C’s (a blend of seven popular hops including Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Citra), the lemony notes and clean taste made this beer much more popular than the brewery expected. So much so that it will soon be offered year-round in six-packs as their only non-Belgian core style.
Free Spirit Three Taverns collaborated with Terrapin Beer and Decatur local Brian Watts of 8 Wired Brewing (New Zealand) to make this farmhouse pale ale, a bright and hoppy brew with a floral, grapefruit aroma. Free Spirit was brewed in memory of Brian’s wife, Brittney Fox Watts. A portion of the proceeds go to the Small Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit that, in Brittney’s memory, works to improve environmental awareness. The beer launched at Brick Store Pub last week, and I’m told, tapped out within hours. No surprise—Free Spirit (5.5 percent ABV) has the earthiness of a farmhouse beer without sacrificing the bite you want from a good pale ale. Three Taverns still has a bit at the tasting room, but it won’t last long. Look out for a release of 750 mL bottles in a couple of weeks.
Le Peche Mode I hope this peach saison turns out to be as good as its name. Fermented with peaches from Lane Southern Orchards, this summer treat will launch late August, in bottle-conditioned 750mL bottles and kegs.
Dubbel Shot This is the Belgian dubbel that Three Taverns hinted at in January—a smooth and easy 7.5 percent oatmeal coffee blend that Purcell brewed on his home system. Say hello to your new breakfast beer. No firm release date yet, but the brewery is still pouring remaining quantities in the tasting room.
Heavy Bells What happens when you take Quasimodo— Three Taverns’ sweet, chocolaty quadruple with berry notes—age it in eight-year-old bourbon barrels, then serve it to 400 revelers? It disappears in a few hours, that’s what happens. Heavy Bells will ring in at 10 percent ABV in October.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Theophan the Recluse Theophan the Recluse is a jet black Belgian-style imperial stout rich with toasted mocha and bittersweet sugar, making its return this year. The bourbon barrel-aged version of this frothy, malty brew (10 percent ABV) made with dark Muscovado sugar was another hit during the anniversary party, so the brewery is bringing the aged version back around late winter, under a different name.
Also of note: Feest Noel will return this fall, their Belgian-style strong dark ale, with a warm Christmas spice blend of cardamom, clove, and allspice.
The Tripel Reserve, fermented in red wine oak barrels and brewed in collaboration with the Wrecking Bar, is still on at the brewery. Three Taverns tipped their hat to the forthcoming Georgia Wild series with A Night in Brett, a Belgian IPA aged in red wine barrels and brewed with brettanomyces. Brett, as it’s often called among beer experts, is a wild, funky yeast often used in sour styles. The brewery says it will be several months before the Georgia Wild beers reach maturity and become ready for distribution.