Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Off Color's Apex Predator

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Feb 21, 2014 8:40PM

2014_2_21_off_color.jpgDespite the chill that's back in the air today, we Chicagoans got a little taste of spring this week and we jumped on the opportunity to drink a beer that was very appropriate for a season that's yet to come.

Apex Predator is a Belgian-Style Saison from Off Color Brewing. It pours a cloudy, straw-blond color in the glass with a vibrant nose of lemongrass and chamomile tea. On the palate, the lemongrass is met with lemon rind and the herbal note of chamomile is dashed with a pinch of white pepper. The hops involved are guilty of lending that herbal quality we found so appealing but we were equally impressed with the malts. The body of the beer is crisp yet soft and the overall malt profile was reminiscent of sweet biscuits, which played off of the hop profile very well and put in a solid foundation for all of those spicy yeast notes to stand on. At 6.5 percent alcohol content, Apex Predator is a phenomenal modern representation of a classic style.

One of the things that makes the Saison style a favorite of ours is how well these beers pair with food. In his book, The Brewmaster's Table, Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver calls the style "downright promiscuous" and we couldn't agree more. A good saison is bold enough to stand up to a dish of spicy Pad Khee Mao but also delicate enough not to overpower sushi. It's great with poultry, if you happen to find yourself roasting a chicken, but also has the acidity to cut right through some deliciously fatty pork sausage. If you're going to a BYOB restaurant or to a friend's house for dinner, a bottle of saison is one of the safest and tastiest things you can bring along.

Apex Predator is currently only available on draft, but we understand bottles are on the way. Check beermenus.com to see where you can snag a pour this weekend.