Name: Dew Drop
Brewing Company: Oakflower Brewing Company
Location: Millington, NJ
Style: Farmhouse Ale – Grisette
An extremely flavorful low ABV beer that showcases the brewer’s skill and talent in a very impressive fashion.
From the untappd page for the beer:
Dew Drop is our low ABV, rainy Spring inspired grisette. We start with a base of floor malted pils and plenty of malted wheat, firmly hopped with some lovely Saaz, and then gently dry hopped with Motueka. It brings a great marriage of earthy, floral, and citrus. Dew Drop is highly carbonated and finishes nice and dry, making it all too easy to refill your glass.
New breweries will sometimes stumble out of the gate when they open for the first time. In some cases, the brewers may be working on new equipment, sizing up their recipes for larger batches. I can’t say that is the case with Oakflower Brewing in Millington, NJ. I visited the second weekend they were open and ordered this Grisette. What is a Grisette, though? It is a Belgian style dating back to the 1700s initially brewed to reward and refresh miners. The name “Grisette” translates as “little grey one,” likely a reference to the stone of the mines. Typically, this beer is similar to the Saison style of beer, with a lower ABV (often less than 5% ABV) with a sometimes fruity or tart element from the yeast used in the beer.
Not many breweries are making Grisettes, let alone making it as one of their first beers available to the public. To coax flavor out of the elements while maintaining a strong flavor profile with a low ABV isn’t the easiest task. But in the interest of trying styles I don’t often see (just 6 different Grisettes including this one), I ordered Dew Drop.
The beer I’m given is bright and inviting, yellow-golden with a frothy head. The aroma has a slight bit of funk.
The first sip puts a smile on my face. It is both light and flavorful at the same time. There’s an effervescent element that seems slightly more carbonated than most beers I’ve had. As I continue to drink the beer, I enjoy it more and more as a spritzy, fruity element becomes a bit more pronounced. Not a dominant flavor component, but something tickling the edges.
I’m guessing part of what sets this apart from other farmhouse style ales I’ve had is the Motueka hops. While the Saaz hops are a very traditional hop (they are THE pilsner hop), Motueka is fairly new and from New Zealand. The two hops play nicely together..
I think the most impressive element of this beer is the whole of it. For a beer to have so much flavor at such a low ABV is very impressive. Even more impressive is that Oakflower was open for just a week when I visited and this beer was on draught. Head brewer/owner Colin McDonough was brewing in small batches for a few years under the Lamington River Brewing banner so he’s got some experience. That said, it often can take time for a brewer to adjust to newer, larger scale equipment and the learning curve here seems non-existent. Dew Drop is the kind of beer I’d expect from a brewery that’s been open a few years, not a couple of weeks.
Highly recommended, link to 4.5 bottle cap untappd rating check in.
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