Hello friends, and welcome back to the next installment of the Brew Log. This week we’re trying a new and artistic brew, the Sunken City brewed by Insight Brewing in Minneapolis.
This beer is truly a highlight of Insight’s artistic craft, involving brewery experience from around the world and ingredients that are not commonly found in most beers.
This is by far the most complex beer we have tried and it has shown the creativity in brewing methods.
Insight Brewing has been prevalent in both the local and global realms. The history of this brewery can be found around the world and among many different brewing traditions. Head brewer, Ilan Klages-Mundt, traveled the world for years, spending time in various breweries and learning unique brewing processes. His travels took him to Denmark, England and Japan where he gained a vast experience of different brewing styles by volunteering in breweries and conversing with brewmasters.
Back in Minnesota, Klages-Mundt teamed up with Insight Brewing co-owners Brian Berge, Kevin Hilliard and Eric Schmidt in an effort to bring tastes from around the world to Minnesota.
At its conception in 2014, Insight was the largest start-up brewery in Minnesota, with a capacity larger than that of Surly at the time. The founders and Klages-Mundt were certain Minnesota would be open to their new style of brewing that incorporates global flavors. For instance, The Garden of Hell is a beer infused with yuzu, a Japanese fruit. The beer that we chose for this week is another concoction inspired by Klages-Mundt’s travels. The Sunken City is a saison that includes aspects of Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
We have to say that this is the most intriguing beer we have ever tried. The integration of Sauvignon Blanc grapes was admittedly puzzling, however we were eager to try the Sunken City. The smell of the beer is very fruity but the taste does not exhibit overly fruity notes. The taste has a sour kick that initially overwhelms the traditional saison flavor. However, the aftertaste does resemble some of the floral notes of a dry saison. This beer possesses a multitude of flavors and truly does attempt to use global practices to craft a creative beer.
Overall, the complexity of flavors does not match the fruity scent and the beer tasted different from the first sip to the last, perhaps a byproduct of the creative brew.
The saison style of beer comes out the central European brewing country of Belgium, specifically from the province of Hainaut. The style was originally developed by Belgian farmers who wanted the perfect drink to consume during the hot summer working months.
The farmers started the brewing process early in the winter so they would have a plentiful stock when summer rolled around. While the saison was historically popular, the style began to decline in popularity at home but was revived in the United States. Today, you can find a saison style at most brewpubs across the United States.
All in all, the Sunken City is a very different beer with its uncharacteristic sour flavors but is a great spin on the traditional saison style for rye beer drinkers. Insight Brewing has created a special brew that will set them apart when it comes to saisons, as they use characteristics and inspiration from breweries across the globe.
The world of beer can be found in every pint at Insight, so if you’re inspired to try something revolutionary, take a trip down to Minneapolis.