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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beer Pick of the Week: Lectio Divina

click to enlarge Divine: Lectio Divina from Saint Somewhere
  • Divine: Lectio Divina from Saint Somewhere

Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

Tarpon Springs, FL

8% ABV

My hope is that breweries like this little upstart near Tampa are the wave of the beer future. They don't even have a proper website! Still, the Saint Somewhere Brewing Company has managed to get its two Belgian-style ales distributed in Georgia, so they know how to work it.

Beautifully packaged in a 750-ml bottle with a cork-and-wire closure and Art Nouveau-style artwork, Lectio Divina (Divine Reading) is an amber ale that falls somewhere between a dubbel and a strong dark ale, with a bit of Flanders red tartness thrown in. Bottle-conditioned with a big, funky yeast, it should be decanted carefully to keep the yeast from overpowering the other flavors. There's lots of caramel and candied sugar sweetness in the aroma, along with the  yeast's distinctive, ripe banana ester.

The taste brings a more complex palate of orchard fruits, raisins and sour cherries, along with white pepper, clove, mace, and a spicy, yeasty tang. An active carbonation counters the slightly syrupy mouthfeel. As befits its humble origins, the flavors are a bit raw and sweet, and the alcohol gets a little boozy, but Lectio Divina is a distinctive ale that proves that there's more to Florida beer than island lagers with a lime jammed in the neck. It pairs nicely with the nutty flavors of an asiago pressato and some Wheat Thins.

(Photo by Jeff Holland)

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