I have been busy tallying comments, emails, and Facebook posts on the question of which beer should enjoy the hugely coveted Satori Award title.* It's actually a bit closer than I expected, but the clear winner is Logsdon Seizoen Bretta. This is impressive for a couple reasons. In past years I've posted polls, but the winner has always been the brewery with the biggest market share or, in one case, the biggest twitter following. That makes sense--beers that sell a lot are, definitionally, popular. The fact that Logsdon's beer won--easily the most obscure on the list--is impressive. It's also not an easy beer, so not everyone will have loved it (more on that in a couple paragraphs).
I have already expressed huge excitement over the arrival of this brewery--anyone who homebrews has already developed an appreciation for Dave Logsdon's work, and I'm no exception. I've even visited the brewery, which impressed me all the more. "Farmhouse" is a poetic invocation, not an accurate description of the places most beers are made. But Logsdon's beer is literally made in a farmhouse. I continue to have great hopes for the brewery, and Dave has a long view about what he wants to do. The reviews have been very positive, and as the voters in this little poll illustrate, it's already a well-loved beer.
Because I've been drinking too few local beers, I was prepared to rely on you all to pick the Satori, and if you'd voted for Boneyard in sufficient numbers, I might even have selected a beer I've never tried. Unfortunately, I'm not a huge fan of the Seizoen Bretta, and I had another bottle last night just to make sure. Yup, not for me. It's one thing to pick a beer I've never tried on the strength of beer geek love, but choosing a beer I'm not fond of is maybe asking too much.
But here's the thing: beer flavors are subjective. Especially with a beer like Seizeon Bretta. It was designed to have lots and lots of intense flavors and slowly nurtured and coaxed into developing them. It's exactly the kind of beer that will divide opinion. That means some won't like it, but others will adore it. A different blogger, a different Satori winner. And, whether I liked it or not, I'd encourage everyone to try a bottle. At ten bucks, they're quite a value (keeping in mind the time it took to make). You may have the same reaction I have, or possibly it will confer upon you that moment of Satori--as it did for about 40% of the people who voted. Pretty good odds, eh?
I'll announce the Satori tomorrow or Friday.
*By which I mean that when/if they hear about it, winning brewers usually offer a confused look and a shrug.