As inexplicable as it sounds, some folks in this world have no taste for beer.
But thanks to the Quad Ale House, even for these poor souls, there’s hope.
868 Fifth Avenue, Downtown San Diego
Nicknamed “Beer Study Hall,” this new collegiate-themed suds shop is offering cocktails designed to taste — in spirit if not spirits — as nearly and beerly as possible to the real thing.
“The whole concept behind beer cocktails is that with the Quad, you’re at a craft-beer bar in San Diego, the craft-beer mecca of the world,” explains Blaine Mace, Quad beer-and-barman and cicerone. “Not everyone is a beer drinker — so the idea behind these cocktails is to have beer’s essence — to have them taste ‘beer-esque.’”
While no one will mistake the beer cocktail for a beer per se, the facsimile is admirable on two counts, if the Quad’s Summer Saison is any indicator: 1) It flatters the original and 2) it’s delightful in its own right.
The Summer Saison, says Mace, like its beer counterpart, comes together over the citrus — but doesn’t stay there.
“So, immediately on the nose you’re going to get lemon not only because it’s zested over with the lemon peel but also because it’s congruent with what happens in a traditional saison,” he says. “You’re also going to get that clove on the nose, too…because of the yeast strain in the actual beer having strong clove overtones.”
Following the sweet and spice, Mace says, the beery notes start emerging.
“With the clover,” he says, “you’re also going to get mid-layers of sweetness and the rye will pull through and act as a malt.”
Initially, the Quad team found developing the Summer Saison a challenge because of the flavor variety in the original Belgian ferment.
“Locking down a saison is hard because every saison is going to taste different,” Mace says. “So we went for a base flavor. This cocktail is what I would imagine all my saisons taste like at bottom with extra flavors to add as I would want.”
Quad Ale House’s Summer Saison
- 1 oz. Bulleit Rye
- 1 oz. Dolin dry vermouth
- 3/4 oz. pineapple gomme
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice
- 1/4 St. Germaine
- 1 pinch of clove
- 1 pinch of lactose sugar
Pour ingredients into cocktail tin with ice, shake and serve in coupe glass with lemon twist.