White pepper, winter & gourds

New beers in the hopper at The Lost Abbey

The Lost Abbey

155 Mata Way #104, San Marcos

Recently, I interviewed Tomme Arthur, the famous beer mind and director of brewery operations at The Lost Abbey (155 Mata Way, #104, San Marcos) and its West Coast-style counterpart Port Brewing. I was there to taste and talk about last week’s Beer of the Week, a blend of sour ales called Duck Duck Gooze. That beer is so rare and special that it merited a singularly devoted piece, but during our session, Arthur shared news of a trio of new beers scheduled for debut before year’s end.

The first is a farmhouse-style ale brewed with Nelson hops, golden raisins, and white pepper called Saison Blanc. That beer first debuted at the North Park Festival of the Arts in 2011. Bright and flavorful, it came across with heat from the peppercorns, especially after a year of aging when Arthur and company put it on tap in the tasting room last year. This year’s batch will be less spicy, refermented with Brettanomyces, and available in 375-mililitre bottles starting this week.

Up after that will be a yet-to-be-named, draft-only Winter IPA, the details of which have yet to be finalized. The beer is designed to both buck the trend of traditional, malt-heavy, old-world European spiced malt bombs, as well as offer a bit of a head scratcher to the brewery’s fans. The Lost Abbey produces Belgian-inspired beers, and Port Brewing is the vehicle for all of its IPAs. But this IPA will likely be released under The Lost Abbey flag.

So, too, if the brewing schedule allows, will a pumpkin beer. Ideas for this one are being kicked around, but a potential name—Avant Gourd (an adaptation of the name of The Lost Abbey’s biere de garde, Avant Garde)—is already producing smiles around the brewhouse. If time proves to be on Arthur’s side, that one will be released in the fall.

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