Craft beer drinkers often love learning about their favorite unique beers and the brewing process as much as they love drinking them. To give craft beer enthusiasts — drinkers and brewers alike — a look behind the brewing curtain, Sierra Nevada launched “The Brewer and the Beer Geek.” The new video feature gives craft beer enthusiasts, aspiring homebrewers and growing craft beer professionals uncensored insight into the backgrounds of the brewery’s seasonal, specialty and limited release beers.
The latest episode takes us inside the Ovila Abbey Saison, which is brewed with Mandarin Oranges and Peppercorns.
“We’ve collaborated with the Abbey of New Clairvaux since 2010, and have brewed several great Ovila beers,” said Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder, speaking about the Ovila Abbey series, which was launched earlier this year with the Ovila Abbey Quad with Plums and the soon to release Ovila Abbey Saison. “Using ingredients grown at the monastery— harvested by the monks themselves —strengthens our connection and shows the evolution of the Ovila series. We’re of course excited to share these two beers.”
The monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux follow the Rule of St. Benedict, which directs them to live by the work of their hands. The monks operate nearly 600 acres of working farmland and produce several crops, including plums, oranges, walnuts and wine grapes, among others.
Previous beers from the Ovila series include the 2012 World Beer Cup Bronze Medal-winning Belgian-style Dubbel, a Saison, and a Belgian Quad. Ovila Abbey Quad with Plums is a dark ale that boasts aromas of caramel, rich malt and dark fruit balanced by the spiciness and delicate fruity notes of a traditional Belgian yeast. Ovila Abbey Saison with Mandarin oranges and peppercorns is a blonde farmhouse ale whose notes of lemon, pepper, grass and herbs are balanced by the tang of mandarin orange and a spicy kick of white pepper.
“It’s special to see our community’s labor directly benefit the creativity of these beers,” said Father Paul Mark Schwan, Abbot of New Clairvaux. “For those who try them, we hope the ingredients lend themselves to a unique experience.”