Wherein Time And Space | Is/Was and Supermoon
I always have questions about collaborations. Who provided what for the beer? Does where it was brewed have any effect on the final product? Did one brewery just hold a mash paddle? Sometimes the breweries give you answers for the first question but the other two – who knows. I think where it’s brewed does have an effect on the beer, but I’ve yet to try two collaboration beers brewed at the two locations with the same ingredients (the Goose Island/Phase Three collab came close, but they changed some additions to it.) Unfortunately I won’t be able to answer that question with Wherein Time And Space, a collaboration between Is/Was Brewing in Chicago and Supermoon Beer Company in Milwaukee, WI.
Is/Was Brewing started in September 2019 by Mike Schallau, former director of operations at Pipeworks Brewing. A contract brewery, Is/Was started brewing out of Marz in Bridgeport before eventually finding a home at Begyle Brewing. Focusing solely on saisons, Is/Was – along with Afterthought and Keeping Together – brought it back in a big way to Chicago. Their brews have been getting better and better, culminating with the lovely and refreshing Levian with yuzu.
Supermoon does the same from Milwaukee. Started in 2021, Rob Brennan has a home (literally) in the southern Bay View area that is currently undergoing a transformation into a taproom. He somehow manages to craft light and effervescent saisons with a hint of funk that GET ME. It’s gotta be the house culture, as every time Supermoon’s been on the show I’ve ranked it number one. I even picked it as my favorite in a blind lineup at the Avril Fete at Sugar Maple. A subtle note of funk is all I need.
Wherein Time And Space features Cascade and Willamette hops along with aged Celeia and Willamette hops. It clocks in at 5.4% ABV and was brewing at Begyle Brewing. It’s labeled as a hoppy saison.
Two fingers of white puffy head arise as the pour happens and rests at a fluffy half finger. I expected a straw golden color from Wherein Time And Space but it actually poured a burnt golden or burnt orange color, similar to a double IPA. Light gets through as I can see my finger, but it’s not clear. Just like a saison should!
Wherein Time And Space hits with a range of aromas as wide as the galaxy. Barnyard funk and hay appear first. The fruit wave comes in next with notes of lemon and grapefruit. The hops make their presence felt by bringing floral and grassy nose flavors to the beer. I’m guessing the aged hops provide that grandma’s basement musty note I get as well. A certain bready character also shines, but when combined with everything else it comes off as a sourdough. That intrigues me.
The sourdough really comes through on the palate. It remains throughout the sip and combines with a nice malty sweetness to make some akin to honey sourdough bread. Don’t let the hoppy in hoppy saison scare you off as while there’s some bitterness on the finish, it’s very slight and really second fiddle to the dryness on the end. Any barnyard funk or hay on the nose gets reduced to basically nothing on the tongue, most likely only showing up in the sourdough note described above. A fresh floral note joins in as well making Wherein Time And Space drink a bit brighter than usual.
That brightness is assisted by the very high and effervescent carbonation, moving things along nicely. That slight bitterness does hang around after the sip and really remains the only thing staying around. Everything else clears out and you just want to keep going back for more.
Wherein Time And Space would excel as a meal beer. Pretty much any meal could go with it outside of sweet desserts. It’s enjoyable and the dry and slightly bitter finish encourages repeated drinks. While it’s become apparent I like a little funk in my saisons (or barrels), this collab really does showcase the best of time (is/was) and space (Supermoon).