Quartz by Townsite is wild ale derived from a blend of 3 different vintages of barrel aged beer combined with a base beer to create a truly unique offering in BC. It’s described on their website as follows: “First a saison was brewed to act as a base beer and then the fun began. 3 years worth of wildly fermented beer from our Bois Sauvage series were blended. Barrels from 2015, 2016 and 2017 were chosen for their cohesive flavours: the 2015 barrel was very dry with mineral flavours; 2016s was quite sour and fruity while the 2017 barrel was funky and tart”.
Townsite is by far one of the most underrepresented (or overlooked) breweries in BC. They make excellent beer, most of which is horded by the lucky folks in Powell River, BC and the brewery offers up some unique beers that have a well deserved place on the shelves of our liquor stores. Needless to say, I was super stoked to see this beer arrive on my door step one day and wanted to feature it on my Sample Series reviews.
Aroma and Appearance: Quartz pours a hazy golden straw colour with three fingers of white fluffy foam and lots of small, fast rising bubbles that can be seen in the glass. It has a funky horse-blanket, farmy aroma that’s got some lemon tartness and unusual wafts of vurp (yes, that smell of a burp where you almost vomit a little).
Flavour: Thankfully the vurp was just in the aroma as the flavour is profoundly different. Quartz takes off with slightly over-ripened pineapple notes up front and tart apricots with under-ripened strawberries that envelop the middle of the beer. It has a soft fluffy texture, is very refreshing and gives off some lemon vibes as it approaches a deliciously mineralic end that’s laced with funky cheese and a classically dry funky brettanomyces finish.
Overall Impression: This is pretty much a Method Traditionelle – 3 Year Blend, or at least as close as you can get in British Columbia from a local producer. I’m not entirely sure if it hits all the criteria, but I don’t really pay attention to specific criteria like that. It’s great, it develops nicely as it warms, it’s satisfyingly funky and super refreshing on a hot or cold day.
Rating: If you see it here it means I’m pretty happy with it because I think it’s worth writing about, but I still won’t give a number rating because I feel it’s way too hard to remove bias in a free sample to give a true numbered rating.
Food Pairing: Goat’s cheese and plain crackers, farmers sausage or even fresh fruits.
They also sent me a super sweet Teku style glass which you can see in its full glory below.