Grisé | Kent Falls Brewing Co.
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Breweries existing on a farm are not new. Usually it was a farm at some point that has been repurposed into a brewery. Rarely does that brewery exist on a working and sustainable farm (although that is becoming increasingly more common). Kent Falls exists as one of those working farm breweries. Founded by Barry Lebendz, Derek Dellinger and John and Kat Suscovich – all of whom still live on the farm – in June 2016, Kent Falls does things I’ve never heard of before, like letting chicken into the hop yard to get rid of Japanese beetles. So, yeah, no surprise that Kent Falls would release a farmhouse ale called Grisé.
Grisé exists as a rose beer. A mix of fresh and oak aged grisettes, the beer then rests on second-use cherries for a fruit kick. It’s only 4.9% and blended what appears to be annually; this bottle is blend 2 from June 2020. We’ve had Kent Falls before on our Connecticut Show, but that was a blueberry beer that was a bit too acidic for my tastes. Always nice to try something else from a distant brewery.
Grisé pours a faint pink color. Mind you I did not research the beer before I drank it, giving me no preconceived notions about what this beer is trying to be. It very much looks like Kent Falls poured some red cherry juice into a straw-colored grisette, thereby resulting in that pink color. Rose-like, but definitely cloudier. In the right light some burnt orange might show up. A finger of puffy white head appears then slowly recedes until nothing remains.
First whiff of Grisé brings about something that always scares me a bit – vomit. Certain beers – especially those that go for the “old world style” sometimes have this on the aroma. There’s an even chance that the beer exhibits that on the palate, but it’s still there. It dies down a bit on repeated sniffs, however. Beyond that, light funk and cheese notes along with a hit of cherry juice and some hay. After repeatedly smelling Grisé I kept getting a light spice coming off of it. Interesting stuff.
Thankfully, no vomit on the palate of Grisé. Whew. The star here is the tartness. Much like Hopewell’s Arrow of Time Blend 002 (on our upcoming FoBAB 2021 Winners show), the tartness hits the side of your tongue and mouth and never overtakes the beer; it just complements it. It’s a nice pucker that really sets it apart. The cherries mostly bring the tartness to the beer. No jammy cherries are present and there’s a light fruit note that accentuates the base grisette.
Lemon and some hay notes complement the cherries while the oak rounds out the beer nicely and gives it a little depth. I could see this being aged in either neutral oak or white wine barrels, as a slightly dry finish greets you. Grisé is absolutely refreshing, with only a very slight hint of funk coming through. The high carbonation supports the drinkability; only some of that tartness remains, causing you to eagerly take another sip. My 500 mL bottle vanished and I wanted more.
So I will blame blueberries again. While Ready to Drum wasn’t a bad beer, it really didn’t show what Kent Falls was capable of. Grisé checks all the boxes on a light and refreshing grisette and adds the perfect amount of tartness to it. Although that vomit aroma worried me a bit, all fears evaporated once it hit my tongue. An excellent beer from a working farm brewery. Next time I’ll try to order some cheese, eggs and meat!
Visit Kent Falls website to order their beer for pickup in Connecticut. They do not ship as far as I can tell. Also, only regular and duck eggs are available at the time of this writing, so no cheese or meat for you!