Chicagoist's "Beer Of The Week:" Solemn Oath's "Butterfly Flashmob"
By Jason Baldacci in Food on Oct 5, 2012 8:40PM
This week, we found ourselves dutifully bellying up to the bar at Owen & Engine as they celebrated their second year of business. As usual, the draft and cask lineup was anything but a disappointment.
Certified Cicerone Elliott Beier will often put the same beer both on draft and cask at the same time, which gives his patrons the chance to see and learn about the difference between the two methods. This week, he did that with Solemn Oath Brewery's Belgian-Style IPA, "Butterfly Flashmob."
The nose on Butterfly Flashmob has a beautiful balance of floral and citrus notes. On the palate, it's nice and sharp, with a little citrus coming through up front, and a touch of perfume on the finish. The Belgian yeast strain lends a lot of restrained fruitiness, which is suppressed by the assertive bitterness of the hops. Overall, it's dry and clean, with a pronounced hop profile and some true Belgian character. At 7 percent alcohol content, it's teetering on high gravity, yet dangerously drinkable.
The twist for the evening though, was that the cask version of Butterfly Flashmob had been finished with a little bit of coffee added in. We know, coffee mixed with Belgian-Style IPA? Sounds crazy, right? Just crazy enough to work. It was present, but not dominating. It really just layered a surprisingly pleasant blanket of roasty spice over the citrus and perfume that were there already, and made the beer strikingly appropriate to drink on a cool, Autumn evening.
We enjoyed our Butterfly Flashmob with Owen & Engine's Roast Chicken, which was served with beets and carrots in a gratuitous, orange demi-glaze. The crisp acidity of the beer stood up perfectly to the richness of the sauce, making the pairing just about perfect, but we could also see this going very well with some earthy mushrooms, especially in a pasta, or even a rack of lamb.
At this time, Solemn Oath Brewery is not bottling any of their beers, so look for Butterfly Flashmob on tap at Owen & Engine, and other fine beer bars around the city. If you're up for a trek out to Naperville, Solemn Oath's tasting room is open from 12-9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sunday.