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Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Une Annee's Esquisse

By Melissa McEwen in Food on Jun 21, 2015 6:00PM

Une Annee has been making solid Belgian and French-style brews in Chicago since 2012, and we're happy to see that they are venturing into sour styles with Esquisse, an American wild ale.

That style is a departure from the classic European styles they are known for, as the American wild ale is essentially a free-form category. Wild yeasts and bacteria are everywhere and more varied than just about anything you can think of, so the name doesn't tell you much. But if you're skeptical of sours, Esquisse might be the one for you to try. The bottles of Esquisse we've tried so far have had a pronounced fruit-like tang, but are not especially sour, with a nice fragrant hoppiness and crisp cider-like body.

That means that Esquisse can pair up with things that normally wouldn't do very well with sours—like desserts. A very sour sour like Duchess De Bridgeport will essentially drown out sweet things, but Esquisse is subtle enough to complement them. I especially enjoyed it paired with cheesecake covered in seasonal fruit at Two. But like all sours, it pairs especially well with salty fatty foods like pork or lamb belly.

Ricotta cheesecake at Two (photo by Melissa McEwen)

Esquisse is only the beginning of Une Annee's sour program, as they are in the process of building a solid sour portfolio. If you want to get in on the action and get guaranteed access to all of them (and some of their other special beers) they are offering an investment program called Le Grande Monde.

Esquisse is only available in bottles, check Beermenus to find it near. We've also spotted it at Binny's, Trader Joes and Green Grocer.