Rowley Farmhouse Ales is an up-and-coming brewery from Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2019 they were even honored with the Small Brewpub of the Year award at the GAB, so keep an eye out for these guys…especially because it’s rare to see them outside of New Mexico.
Rowley focuses on funky and/or foeder-aged Farmhouse and sour ales, which make up the vast majority of their beer list. But if you’re not into that, don’t worry, because they also offer a nice selection of craft beers from other places that range in style.
Today I have one of their most famous brews - Petite Blanche, a foeder-aged Biere de Blanche that has a nice 7% ABV. For this brew they used a mixed culture of souring bacteria, native wild yeasts, and saison yeasts before aging it in oak barrels to create a beer that’s funky and unique.
This Biere de Blanche, a type of Witbeir, poured a golden straw color with some light haze to it. There was very minimal head building up, just a few bubbles here and there that quickly popped, leaving the surface of the beer completely unguarded.
On the nose there was a light oaky aroma leading the way. There was a sour, acidic twinge with some underlying notes of citrus and more of that foeder-aging. It had a nice funk to it from the yeast, with the Brett showing up strong here.
The first sip was a little tart but quickly backed off as more of that Brett flavor began to push forward. Those earthy Brett notes were amplified, and complemented nicely, by that wooden characteristic from the aging process.
Some lemon and citrus flavors appeared on the backend, adding to that initial sourness. However, even with that tart bite, it still drank light and crisp.
Petite Blanche finished rather clean as well, with just the slightest hint of dryness and a bit of that Bretty funk lingering afterwards. I will say that the high level of acidity did catch up with me around the halfway mark of the pint.
But as the brew began to warm up, that acid began to soften some. This allowed for more of the citrus notes - like lemon and lime - and the oakyness to come out. And that created a much smoother and easier drinking experience for the last half of the can.
This was a really tasty Farmhouse that just had a bit too much acid for me, even with it lessening towards the end of the can. For me, it was a perfect sampler beer or one to share with a few friends.
If you’re a fan of tart/sour Farmhouses with some funk to them, Rowley’s is the place for you.