Despite being around for a handful of years now, Saint Errant Brewing still doesn’t have their own taproom or brewery yet. They’re listed as being from Chicago, Illinois but most of their brews are made outside the city, as they have a bunch of friends helping them brew/can their beers across the burbs.
They are a small-batch nano-brewery and one of the up-and-comers out there. But if you haven’t heard of them, you’re not alone. Even in Chicagoland, they are considered a hidden gem as they don’t get the same press as some of the other bigger breweries. But, they are well worth trying.
Today I have one of their IPAs to try, Lonely Negatives. This West Coast IPA was brewed with Amarillo, Citra, Columbus, and Simcoe hops and has a solid 6.5% ABV. Each four pack costs about $16. This beer was brewed and canned at Noon Whistle’s Naperville location.
Lonely Negatives poured a bright, mostly clear golden straw color with a moderate amount of head building up. Just about a finger of eggshell white head that topped the beer but didn’t stick around too long, as it quickly faded down into a thin ring around the edge of the glass.
On the nose, this West Coast IPA gave off some nice crisp aromas. There are notes of resinous pine, herbal and dank floral qualities, and some tropical and citrus fruit notes. It was pineapple, orange, and grapefruit peel that were the most prevalent coming out of the fruit aspect. This was a very balanced hop attack while still having just a touch of grist underneath, as some bready and caramel malt notes can be detected as well.
Each sip begins with a delayed carbonation fizzle that appears after a second or two. It is initially sweeter than I was expecting with the fruit characteristics fully winning the flavor battle up front. Juicy tangerine and mandarin oranges popped first, followed by a bit of that tropical pineapple.
However, the brew quickly turns more herbal and dries out a bit. A dank kushy flavor appears and is closely followed by some grassy notes and a bit of resin. But the floral/herbal flavors don’t completely take over the taste. Instead, the citrus notes still continue underneath. At times they are hard to spot but, other times, they play very nicely with the more resinous herbal qualities.
As it progresses further, there is a final spike in citrus flavors with a big explosion of orange and grapefruit peel towards the end of the sip. The orange adds some juiciness to the brew and helps eliminate some of that earlier dryness. But the grapefruit rind does add a bit more bitterness and resin to the final moments of the sip.
Surprisingly, though, the beer ends very cleanly. That resinous bitter twinge fades almost immediately, as does the dryness. There is no lingering aftertaste either…it just…vanishes. And that makes Lonely Negatives incredibly easy to drink. It was a very sessionable, very flavorful WC IPA.
They are a hidden gem in Chicagoland but if you know, you know. And now you know. Saint Errant is an upcoming force in the area and, if you haven’t tried their beers, it’s time. They’re affordable and delicious…what else can you ask for?