Brewer-Mikkeller Brewing Company
Beer– It’s Alive! (White Wine Barrel)
Style– Wild Ale
Description – Mikkeller’s It’s Alive! pours a hazy blood orange color with a frothy deep beige head that does not linger too long, but leaves a thin lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of amazing sour funk with hints of Belgian yeast cutting through with apples, pears, hints of barnyard and toasty oak as well. The taste hits hard with the sour, which you would expect from the nose, but it is a very pleasing amount of sourness, the white wine notes are more of a background character but add to the dryness of the beer and all are melded with a hints of hop and sweet malts expand and coat the palate before a long dry finish. The medium-full body of the beer combined with the high carbonation creates the perfect vessel to deliver this absolutely amazing beer.
Food Pairing – Upon your first sip It’s Alive! comes across as a perfect beer for special occasions, this seems like a beer that would be perfect to have at a New Year’s Eve party, talk about starting your year off right! As far as pairings, the white wine barrels add an extra level of complexity to this already complex beer which makes for even more enjoyable food pairings. Try this beer with linguine al vongole, an Italian pasta dish with clam sauce, the Belgian ale and white wine hints both pair perfectly with the clam and meld to create a seamless dish that seems as if they were made for one another. Another simple pasta dish to pair with this beer is linguine, or your favorite pasta, and pesto sauce and don’t be afraid of adding some extra garlic, the bite from the sauce will be cleaned up perfectly with this beer and make each bite a savory treat. One final suggestion is a pairing with a truly Belgian dish, moules frites (mussels with fries) the sweetness of the musels compliments the sourness of the beer and the fries give a perfect go between to cleanse the palate and add a bit of salty sweetness as well.
The Final Word – Mikkeller is an absolutely top notch brewery that has produced some amazing, albeit mildly different beers over time. For example, Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is a coffee stout that is brewed using Kopi Luwak coffee, the world famous beans that have been eaten by the Asian palm civet and then passed onto the jungle floors before being collected and processed. This certainly demonstrates that Mikkeller is not afraid to experiment and create beers that first and foremost they enjoy drinking. It’s Alive is another example of experimentation, a bit tamer though, the aging in white wine barrels added a great amount of complexity and nuances to this delicious Belgian ale. Aging beer in wine barrels is nothing new, but when it is done in the hands of expert brewers, such as those at Mikkeller, the results can be breathtaking as they are with It’s Alive!
Where can I get it? – This is a beer that needs to be hunted down. I found no one in the immediate area with it in stock, but I am sure if you request it you will be able to find some and believe me it is worth it!