Logsdon Farmhouse Ales - Szech 'n Brett
Serving Temperature:44–50° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Goblet or Pinot Glass
Szech ‘n Brett is one of Logsdon’s newer releases, having been in the market for just over a year, with about 500 cases sold across a handful of states. Given that small overall allocation, we were grateful to be able to get enough allocated for our Rare Beer Club members. This is a tasty, very limited release from Logsdon, and we’re excited to help get it out into the world.
This organic farmhouse ale with spice offers all the precision and depth of yeast character we have come to expect from this world-class brewery over the years. The aromatics are just out of this world, leading with an especially ambitious breadth of pepper and herbal notes. It’s all kinds of toasty, floral and lavender notes soon emerge, and one occasionally gets lost in here. Juicy key lime and grand citruses emerge from the back row, keeping this bright as it warms.
But we keep going back to it: that breadth of pepper is remarkable.
Logsdon’s Szech ‘n Brett is the sort of beer we could see ourselves drinking all summer... if we could somehow figure out how to squirrel enough away. Its aroma gives a good degree of foreshadowing on the range of peppery flavor elements that appear, ranging from spicy to savory to herbaceous, budging up seamlessly with a ton of other contributing notes. We find a warm lavendar-like piece throughout, underlying clove—and then some creamier, unifying elements as well, along the lines of vanilla, almond and assorted fruits. Cherry and apple tend to peak out first and foremost along these lines. Everything is ripe, fresh, crisp and vibrant.
This changes and morphs quite a bit through a range of temperatures, and (unlike countless other instances wherein this is not the case) maintains very endearing characteristics through all of them. When poured cold, the elements of citrus and white pepper seem amplified, with everything appearing to consolidate to a point. After it’s allowed to warm up, though, past all those aforementioned red fruits and familiar esters, we head into brilliant apricot and peach.
So many different things to like about this beer. The spectrum of spice and fruit here is vast!
This proves to be a beautiful addition to the Logsdon lineup, and one we expect to develop even further in the years to come. With a best-by date half a decade out, Logsdon's Szech ‘n Brett is one of those beers we can confidently encourage our Rare Beer Club members with cellar space to make some room for. Pop a bottle every six months to check in on the progress.
While this proves hugely generous and vibrant when fresh, with all the detailed pepper and stacked fruit, we’re very curious to see how Szech ‘n Brett will develop with a couple years behind it.
For pairings, think of key notes here: pepper and apricots, as we interpreted things, or peach or apple or myriad other dense, sweet fruity elements. The stone fruit suggests grilled pork as an option—ideally something equally jiving with the earthy, robust pepper soul of this beer.
Imagine, if you will, a mythic brewery tucked away in the folds of Oregon’s Columbia River. The brewing equipment itself sits in an iconic big red barn, itself housed on the brewmaster’s quiet ten-acre property. Schaerbeekse cherry trees, imported from a small Belgian orchard in East Flanders, dot the property and conjure up the world-class kriek lambics of that region. A small fold of Scottish Highland cattle can be seen salivating, a good sign there’s brewing in progress. Once it’s done, the spent grains will be brought out into the pasture to feed them.
At the operation’s helm, let’s say, is an artisan long-trained in the semi-invisible arts of yeast management. It all feels like a bit of sorcery. For good measure, the brewery also happens to be immersed in an area known for its windsurfing, orchards, historic landmarks, and beer.
Go ahead. Pinch yourself. Rub your eyes. Logsdon’s Farmhouse Ales will still be there.
There’s something special about breweries truly dedicated to the quality and sustainability of what they do, to the degree that it can feel a bit like an errant fairy tale (swap out the Hobbits for gigantic cattle in this case). Logsdon Farmhouse Ales was founded in 2009, headed up by Director and Brewmaster David Logsdon. David’s been a force in the brewing industry for quite some time, previously serving as a founding partner and brewer at fellow Hood-River-based brewery Full Sail. He’s also the founder of Wyeast Laboratories, Inc., one of the country’s main brewing yeast companies, where he worked for 25 years before setting out to start a brewery of his own. Logsdon Farmhouse Ales is operated as a cooperative, and also has included Charles Porter, who’s brewed previously for folks like Full Sail and Deschutes.
To the idyllic setting and skilled brewing team, add a dedication to high-quality, thoughtfully sourced organic ingredients. Hops are used in their whole-cone form (no pellets, no extract) and purchased either directly from the farmers themselves or grown on site. Fruit additions are locally sourced. Multiple yeast strains are typically used, allowing for greater complexity in the final product. Also: Every beer is certified organic. In David’s words: “We think these are all advantages and producing the best beer possible.”
Everyone has their preferences, and while my profession and temperament have me drinking pretty much everything when it comes to beer styles, I tend to gravitate towards just a few if I’m not on deadline. Pale ales and IPAs with a ton of late hop additions comprise a good bit, with beer like Cellarmaker, Modern Times and Firestone Walker’s Luponic Distortion hitting the spot lately. There is always room in this somewhat reasonably sized belly for hefeweizen, like one of those wizard bags you can store a universe in. And anything even vaguely saison.
If you are a saison and you walk into our house, you get what you deserve.
Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee has been doing some really nice saisons lately, with a Classic Saison that’s true to its name and a Noble Cuvee Dry Hop version that’s essentially a bottled meadow. While a couple recent Prairie beers just didn’t do it for me (Ape Snake: you’re all over the place; Phantasmagoria: you could’ve been someone!), returning to their Standard, a hoppy farmhouse ale with Motueka hops, reinstilled any and all faith. Others to look for in this department: Casey Brewing and Blending (Colorado) has been gaining deserved fanfare. Monkish in SoCal has been dropping numerous mics. Cory King and his Side Project: ditto.
Ken Weaver serves as the beer editor of All About Beer Magazine, currently in its 37th year.
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