Launchdown | Supermoon Brewing Co.
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The joy of discovering a new brewery is only surpassed by discovering a new brewery that specializes in saisons. Supermoon began when Rob Brennan moved back to Milwaukee from Chicago. You might recognize Rob (as I did) from his time at Penrose Brewing in Geneva, IL. He helped start the brewery, acting as the sales manager for its first four years. Supermoon focuses on mixed fermentation farmhouse-style beers. Located in the Bay View area of Milwaukee (like a four minute drive from 1840 Brewing), the former general store-style building will eventually become Supermoon’s taproom. Beers are released when they’re ready and typically there’s a release every month or so. Launchdown is one of those releases.
Launchdown saw the world in March 2021. It features a blend of 10-, 12- and 14-month beers aged in neutral French Oak barrels. That blend then landed in a Pinot Noir puncheon along with some Wisconsin-grown red and black raspberries. Everything sat together for six weeks. Full disclosure – I had Launchdown with Rob while at Supermoon to do an interview for an upcoming show, so this is all memory based.
Launchdown pours a lovely red or pink color. A fair amount of white head shows up on the pour (the bottle gushed a bit a well, so carbonation!) but it settles to a nice half finger of head that consistently rests atop the beer. The beer never goes too dark in any color direction, staying at something akin to a darker rose the whole time. Light gets through but some of the raspberries make it a little murky.
Launchdown’s aroma matches the appearance – restrained. Raspberries hit the nose first, but it comes off with a light jammy note and an air of freshness. The base saisons show up next with some lemon, mustiness, and a small amount of funk. Some Pinot Noir comes through on the nose as well but like everything else it arrives in moderation and serves to give some depth to Launchdown. There’s even a hint of vanilla showing up!
Jammy raspberries come out swinging when Launchdown first hits your lips with a some tartness. That jamminess is fleeting, however. Lemon and some mustiness quickly assert themselves. And then the wine tannins show up, fashionably late. It steals the show, drying out Launchdown a lot. That dryness isn’t prohibitive, as the raspberries finish off Launchdown on a very faint jammy and tart note. That’s some circle of life shit right there.
Launchdown is very light and carbonated. The tannins dry things out extensively and only the tart and slightly jammy raspberries remain. Combined, this makes Launchdown drink as much like a wine as a beer. Wine drinkers will appreciate the tannic qualities and slight sweetness while beer drinkers can appreciate the raspberries along with the lemon and mustiness from the base beer.
Launchdown makes an exquisite food-pairing beer. I can easily imagine it on the table during Thanksgiving dinner pairing with everything – even dessert. It’s a very versatile and interesting beer. I had the pleasure of also trying Supermoon’s Dens while I was there. Dens finished almost too dry for me, so I appreciate Launchdown’s dry finish with a hint of sweetness and tartness even more.
As if you need another excuse to go to Milwaukee! Supermoon’s taproom should be open sometime next year (hopefully), but in the meantime follow their Instagram page and keep an eye out for the bottle releases every so often. I know I will.
Supermoon releases bottles almost monthly at this point. You can check out Supermoon’s shop to purchase their beer and merchandise. Pick-up only during release weekends, though.