Sideswipe Brewing is the newcomer to the Columbus brewery scene. Unlike the other new breweries in the capital city, Sideswipe chose to enter the marketplace with bottled beer rather than a taproom or brewpub. Toward the end of last year (2013) 22 oz bottles of three Sideswipe beers started showing up on the shelves around Columbus: Fisticuffs IPA, Elegant Hoodlum Smoked Stout, and Coop Looter Saison. I thought I would introduce myself to Sideswipe by starting with their Saison.
- Brewery: Sideswipe Brewing (Columbus, OH)
- Style: Saison
- ABV: 6.0%
- Price: $6.99 for a 22 oz bottle
Here is what the brewer has to say about the beer
“Lock up your hens, because this fox is on the prowl. This farmhouse ale is a sleek, earthy beer with the golden yellow hue of the setting summer sun. Made with whole white wheat and aromatic Belgian malts, its subtle spice finish is sure to perk up your ears and leave you hunting for more.”
This beer has a hazy golden-orange color and pours with a big chunky white head that dissipates slowly. The picture above was taken probably 2-3 minutes after I poured the beer. The aroma lets you know this is a Belgian-style beer, with fruity esters (I’m getting quite a bit of pineapple) and peppery phenols. When it hits your tongue you initially get a pineapple fruitiness that follows the nose, then the hops come in and dry things up, leading to a nice spicy finish that leaves lingering notes of black pepper on your tongue. The mouthfeel is crisp, not syrupy as Belgian-style beers can be when not executed correctly.
Wow, I’m very impressed with this beer! There is a lot of Belgian yeast fruitiness, but the Noble hops and spicy black pepper phenols (a classic byproduct of Saison yeast strains) keep it from becoming too sweet. It has nice head retention and the perfect level of carbonation to keep the mouthfeel crisp. The only thing missing is the Brett barnyard funkiness that one finds in some of my favorite examples of the style (although they are not to everyone’s liking). It’s the best Ohio made Saison I can remember drinking, better than Rockmill Saison in my book (at about half the price). What a great beginning for Sideswipe. Check out their website for descriptions of their other beers and a list of places you can purchase their beers. If their other beers are like Coop Looter, Sideswipe won’t be a one man operation for very long.
Rating = 8
Rating scale: 10 = perfection, 9 = excellent, one of the top beers in the world, 8 = very good, one of the top beers in its style category, 7 = good, a solid beer I’m happy to be drinking, 6 = average, not bad but not something I’m likely to buy again, 5 = below average, 3-4 = poor, should be avoided, 1-2 drainpour.