Everything He Touches is gold.
That’s exactly what I was thinking as I drank a bottle of Akademia Brewing Company’s red wine barrel-aged saison.
Morgan Wireman, Akademia’s brewmaster, created a beer that will go down in the record books for me.
Everything He Touches
Brewery: Akademia Brewing Company
Alcohol by volume: 6%
Style: Red wine barrel-aged saison
Bottom line: Pure gold
I’ve been writing this beer column for almost a year, and I can say without a doubt that Everything He Touches is my favorite beer of 2019.
It’s like King Midas, the Greek mythological character, plucked a plum from a tree and instead of turning it into solid gold, it transformed into a beautiful beer.
It reminded me of biting into a plum. I tasted the slight tartness from the skin and then the sweetness from the inside. The finish was a tad earthy and wheaty.
It’s tart without being too tart, sweet without being too sweet and funky without tasting like cheese.
So what makes this King Midas-inspired beer golden?
Wireman owes most of the beer’s funk-inducing qualities to a yeast called brettanomyces, also known as brett in the beer world.
This type of yeast has been a friend and enemy of brewmasters for centuries.
Luckily, nowadays the wild yeast is easier to manage with modern sanitation practices.
“People used to be absolutely terrified of it,” Wireman said. “If you didn’t have good sanitation procedures and get brettanomyces mixed in with clean beers, it would change your beer in a way that you didn’t want it to be. As long as you practice good sanitation and procedures, you’ll be fine.”
Wireman said brett is common in certain beer styles like sours, saisons and Lambics.
In Wireman’s case, he chose one of his favorite styles — the saison.
The most recent batch of Everything He Touches was aged for 14 months in wine barrels.
Wireman has been perfecting this beer since his homebrew days four years ago.
“When I was first designing the beer, I didn’t want it to be a super in-your-face sour beer,” Wireman said. “It’s approachable to craft drinkers and non-craft drinkers. There’s also some wine notes to it, so it seems to appeal to wine drinkers as well.”
If you’re looking for a beer that’s delicious with a lot of fun complexities to pick through, this is your brew.
People can only purchase this beer by the bottle at Akademia or get it on tap in the brewery.
Akademia is located at 150 Crane Drive in Athens.
For more information about this brewery, visit akademiabc.com.