We are kicking off the 2018 series of Tasting Notes this week with a serendipitously provided bottle of Orgine, a collaboration beer between Saint Somewhere Brewing Company (Tarpon Springs, Florida) and Tampa Bay BEERS.
Orgine came to be as a Saint Somewhere collaboration brewed to recognize the 25th Anniversary of Tampa Bay BEERS, the Gambrinus Club Award winning homebrew club that has produced “many brewers and brewery owners including Saint Somewhere, 7venth Sun Brewery, Green Bench Brewing Co., Cigar City Brewing, Six Ten Brewing, and too many others to list, locally and nationally.” With a recipe provided by Rob Roberson, Orgine “started life as Belgian Dark Strong” before taking on the added character of Saint Somewhere’s brewery and brewing techniques. This offering experienced limited availability in 750ml bottles at the start of 2017.
The background information on Orgine may be a bit sparse, but I (Guillermo) do have a good story to tell about how we happened across this bottle. The situation actually started at another Tampa-area brewery during a random introduction to its head brewer. While we were going back and forth with me describing what Mashing In is all about and him explaining his approach to brewing, he abruptly stopped to ask if we did reviews on the site. I showed him an example of Tasting Notes, and he quickly responded by reaching into a cooler, pulling out this bottle and saying, “My friend Bob at Saint Somewhere made this beer. He is a world-class brewer and this beer is fantastic. Would you be willing to write about Bob’s beer?” Already being a huge fan of Saint Somewhere and their gorgeous taproom in Tarpon Springs, I was more than happy to oblige this request. As I walked the bottle back to my car, I could not help but reflect on how crazy that whole exchange was considering this brewer could have easily used that opportunity to gain some free publicity for his beers and brewery. With that thought seemingly never crossing his mind, he instead took that moment to laud the work of a fellow brewer in the hope that it would gain another brewery some recognition. It was an incredible act of respect and a literal display of the camaraderie that we all talk about existing in the craft beer community. In fact, moments such as that define craft beer better than anything you will ever find in a glass.
Now that the heartwarming anecdote above has been recounted, it is finally time to make good on our promise by popping this cork and getting into some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Orgine from Saint Somewhere Brewing Company and Tampa Bay BEERS
Appearance: Orgine presents itself as a medium brown colored brew that holds some soft orange tones. When held to direct light, those oranges gain some vibrancy, pull out some reddish hues and result in a rich mahogany look. The body is mostly clear and displays a gentle carbonation level working about within. A solid finger of off-white foam was produced from a cautious pour. Retention is absolutely fantastic, eventually falling to an everlasting, lush half finger that consistently notches the glass with chunks of lace after each sip.
Aroma: Belgian yeast character and dark fruits lead the way. Bready tones emerge along with a touch of candi sugar, caramel and toffee. The profile closes with a growing waft of farmhouse funk and earthiness that just simply pulls everything together.
Taste: The Belgian characteristics are beautifully presented up front with notes of Belgian yeast, candi sugar, a bit of spice, and loads of dark fruit. The fruits are many: raisin, prune, plum, and fig. Toffee sweetness builds and brings with it a lovely dried apricot presence. That apricot note then lays a foundation for some light funk, leather, wet wood and musty hay. Complexity abounds, and it is just exquisite.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a soft carbonation level, this beer is lightly silken in texture. The ABV is subtle, bringing just a touch of warmth that builds on the throat. Mostly sweet, Orgine is gracefully patient on the palate and allows the flavors to linger and last. The aftertaste leaves behind notes of apricot and leather.
Final Thoughts: Simply put, Orgine is elegantly complex and artfully composed. Each sip is a proud piece of evidence that this beer was important to all those that had a hand in brewing it. It does a fantastic job showing off the traditional beauty of Belgian styles while still possessing a subtle but unmistakable infusion of Saint Somewhere’s soul. In a word, it is divine.
Although Orgine may be a little tough to come by these days, you will have the opportunity to try a wealth of magnificent European-style beers from Saint Somewhere and other breweries from across the world at Brasserie Saint Somewhere’s First Anniversary Party on Saturday, January 20. This event’s featured tap list and spread of bottles will certainly be can’t miss, and . . . who knows . . . you just might happen across a bottle of Orgine being opened at the bottle share. What we do know is that you will absolutely regret it if you miss this event on Saturday. With that in mind, just go ahead and make plans now so that you can be in attendance to raise a glass with the crew at Saint Somewhere and experience the truly special beers that they are brewing out in Tarpon Springs. Prost!