The Church and Head Brewer: Brant Dubovick
Profiled by Ken Carman
This is a rather odd, one off ale: probably one of the most interesting I’ve had. From one of the most interesting brewpubs in the country: The Church in Pittsburgh, PA. For more on The Church, click here. I had the growler filled in mid-August but just cracked it open because I forgot about it. The intent: have my audience sample it on Labor Day. Oops: missed it when I hauled the bottles over to the Hotel.
Stored quite well. That’s why all brewpubs should have the option for Grolsch style bottles with a clamp-able ceramic top. Not sure if The Church does. My growler. I collect.
A bit soapy, but the lip balm used as a hopping could have provided that common defect. In this case: no defect at all: added to the experience. Sweet. A bit cloying in an interesting way. Not much head to start at all and what little there was died fast. Cloudy. Light amber. Mouthfeel sweet, medium body, roof of the mouth gets a fullness sense: body-wise. The tongue: sweet with a tad tart. There is another spice they told me about I have since forgotten the name of that adds just a bit of “pepper.” Not complex, but the kind of beer you want to have those who claim “all beers taste the same” to sample.
The nose seemed to sense a bit of a pilsner malt focus and rhubarb-like tart up front. The head faded fast in the glass, but I don’t remember if it did at The Church. Storage can effect such things despite the clamp top: especially after a few opens and then… “Oops! I should review this sucker!”
A bit like a light version of my infamous rhubarb ales I’ve brewed. Warning: may not satisfy judges who know nothing of rhubarb, like some in the South. They may insist it’s a defect. It’s not. Also a bit like Flemish sour ales. A mild Gueuze would be another valid comparison, perhaps.
This is so unique I would recommend keeping it on tap year around. Those who go to brewpubs only because someone drags them there, and prefer wine lets say, might find this interesting. Even a beer geek/beer judge/reviewer found the concept and the taste intriguing.
Lip balm? Am I inoculated now? Hopefully I’ll never have cold sores again.