One issue that many small craft breweries face is how to grow. Any successful brewery starts by making great beer and building a loyal customer base. Once demand starts to exceed supply the brewery needs to find ways to increase capacity and distribution. Enlightenment Ales started as a small specialty brewery in Lowell, MA. As demand rose, they found a creative way to expand production – they merged with Idle Hands brewery in Everett, MA. This collaboration allows both breweries to share equipment, marketing and distribution, while still producing beer under their unique brands. The change has been especially evident for Enlightenment who now has increased production, wider and more consistent distribution, and a number of new styles of beer. Enlightenment Ale’s Spring seasonal is Rite of Spring, a Farmhouse Ale brewed with wild yeast and local honey. It is available in 750 mL bottles during the Spring.
Enlightenment Ales Rite of Spring pours a cloudy orange-tinted gold with a massive cloud white head. The smell is all Belgian yeast, fruity esters and spices followed by a little must and citrus. The yeast dominates the flavor too, strong, funky and a little wild. The fruit esters are evident, pears and ripe berries, along with some peppercorns. This isn’t a sour beer, but you get a very slight tartness that is reminiscent of that style. The hops are present, with notes of pine and earth along with a mild bitterness. There is solid malt backbone balancing the flavor and contributing tastes of toasted bread, biscuits and a touch of sweetness. Enlightenment Ales Rite of Spring is light in body, but the complexity of the flavor makes it more of a sipping beer. At 6.8% ABV it is about average for the style, very drinkable. The finish has a spicy kick with a touch of maltiness on the tongue. Overall this is a very unique example of a saison, with a complex array of flavors from all of the ingredients. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
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