Spaced Out | Temperance Beer Co.
It seems to be a thing now that if a brewery sponsors or hosts a concert series or festival, they brew a beer for it. Goose Island kicked things off (at least in the Chicago area) with their yearly beer for the Pitchfork Music Festival. Goose Island takes it a step further by collaborating with one of the artists at the festival to make the beer. Triptych made Pygmalion Pils for their sponsorship of the Pygmalion Music Festival in 2016 (and possibly other years). Now Temperance joins the fray with their Spaced Out Helles lager, made for the Space Out music series taking place in their parking lot.
Temperance has been hosting the Spaced Out concert series, co-promoted with Evanston SPACE, since 2018. That initial series celebrated Evanston’s SPACE 10th anniversary and it’s been going ever since (with 2020 being the obvious exception). The bands and acts that they get to perform usually skew relevant and new (as opposed to some legacy bands just trying to make a buck) and this year’s lineup is no exception. Car Seat Headrest, Neko Case (hopefully!), Houndsmouth, and Steel Pulse and KRS One comprise Temperance’s lineup this year and that’s amazing. So for the second year, Temperance has brewed their Spaced Out helles lager.
As standard, Spaced Out stays on the low end of the alcohol spectrum at 5% ABV, typical of most festival beers. That makes sense, as you really don’t want your concert participants getting bombed while the concert’s going on. So don’t expect any complex, barrel-aged big beers at any of these festivals. Crushable beers that patrons can drink multiples of is where your head needs to be on these.
Spaced Out pours a straw golden color, between a lager and a very pale wheat beer or saison. A thin layer of white head formed atop the beer but a caveat comes with this. Temperance hadn’t canned or kegged Space Out at the time I stopped in, so I received a pour from the brite tank (thanks Saint Errant Brent!). I’m hoping not much variance occurs between this and the final, packaged product. That being said, Spaced Out poured very clear (see the picture). Very nice looking beer.
Typical of lager (at least for me), the first thing I smelled off Spaced Out was creamed corn. A nice little grassy note shows up on the end of the sniff which really adds to the overall aroma. A lemony biscuit aroma permeates throughout. A slight whiff of mustiness hovers above it all. Surprisingly, you don’t really have to dig for some of these aromas as you would on other helles lagers; these nose flavors are bold and in your nose immediately.
Spaced Out follows that aroma. Huge flavor hits hard and fast which surprised me. I’m used to a helles being a bit on the subtle side, but this one doesn’t pull any punches. A certain granular or grain flavor (think wheat-like) weaves its way in and out throughout the sip. A very slight creamed corn note persits but it mostly assists in providing a creamy body for Spaced Out. Some lemon tartness exists as well and it all wraps up with a surprisingly dry finish. Like “I kind of needed a water” dry. Thankfully a little bitterness hangs around to get you craving that next sip.
While the carbonation rests squarely in the medium area, that creamy body supplies a bigger than usual mouthfeel (for a helles). It’s full and coats and expands on the tongue while drinking. Even with the big mouthfeel and big flavor, it’s an easy drinker and one I can see having a couple of. Some bitterness and lemony biscuit hang around after the sip, but the dry finish does move things along.
As concert/festival specific beer, it just might be the best one I’ve had. The last two Goose Pitchfork beers were all well and good but the addition of fruit – and the dreaded natural flavors – knocked them down a peg. I could see myself ordering Spaced Out outside of the concert setting and thoroughly enjoying it. (Also helps that I’m actively avoiding haze.) As a helles lager, it doesn’t quite reach the absurd heights of pFriem’s but it could be in the photograph. The big mouthfeel and big flavor make this one concert beer you probably won’t soon forget. Hope the music matches the beer!
Spaced Out will be available starting today and throughout the weekend at Temperance during their Out Of Space concert series on draft and in 6-packs to go. For tickets to the concerts, visit Out Of Space concerts.