We were recently in Boston visiting family and were fortunate enough to have a little bit of free time to break away and visit one of our favorite breweries, Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers. As we perused the menu assembling our tasting flight, Sarah’s eyes were drawn to the newest offering in their Lagers of the World series - Destination Argentina: Lager with Malbec Grape Must. That taster soon turned into a full pour for her, as she was enamored with how many “wine” characteristics came through in this lager. With rich grape on the nose and a combination of fruit and pepper on the palate, Sarah quickly proclaimed this beer as the perfect match for wine lovers! And this got us thinking, is there such a thing in the wine world that would appeal to the beer drinker?
As luck would have it, we didn’t have to search very far for the answer. Right here in our own backyard, Sauvage Spectrum is currently pouring their Pet-Nat Hops; a sparkling white wine that has been fermented on a generous portion of Citra hops, giving it the dank and tropical notes you would expect to find in a hazy IPA. For some insight into how they were able to achieve such a cross-over masterpiece, we connected with owner and winemaker Patric Matysiewski. According to Patric, fermentation is closely monitored and towards the end of the process they dry-hop with Citra for approximately 2 days. It is then bottled unfiltered for the final bit of fermentation in the bottle until achieving complete dryness. The description of Pet-Nat Hops from Sauvage Spectrum’s website adds some more color:
“A medley of aromatic grapes directly pressed to stainless steel. Near the end of fermentation Citra hops are added for a few days of contact, then withdrawn before bottling. The wine is bottled under a crown cap before fermentation ends for natural carbonation. Zero disgorgement and zero dosage. Unrefined, no sulfites added.”
As for the taste, this is truly a beer lover’s wine. The nose greets you immediately with tropical fruit, giving way to more citrus from the hops. The taste is similar, with pineapple and mango on the front which is soon followed by grapefruit and lemon from the Citra hops. Are we really talking about wine here? One check of the ABV confirms that yes, indeed, we are talking about a wine. With an ABV of 14%, this isn’t your typical “porch pounder” IPA, but a treat that should be savored with every sip whether you’re a fan of beer or wine.
So, if you are a beer lover that’s a bit reluctant to visit a winery for fear of not being able to find something to suit your palate, do yourself a favor and head over to Sauvage Spectrum in Palisade and ask for a glass of the Pet-Nat Hops. But you better do so quickly; this is a limited edition offering and their supply is running low. According to Patric, this wine has been so popular that they’ll be producing twice the volume with this year’s harvest. Head on over there and enjoy some today.