Words and photos:
This past Saturday found us driving through Texas Hill Country under heavy clouds and en route to Vista Brewing to attend a one-day event showcasing Vista’s wine barrel-aged Brett beers. We were quite happy to be driving to Driftwood despite the threat of rain because Vista has quickly become one of our favorite brewery stops. Not only do they brew great beer, but the land the brewery sits on is picturesque and the taproom aesthetic is well appointed. This is a trio one shouldn’t overlook.
Saturday’s event was the Rosanna single-varietal barrel release, and we were invited to sample the base Rosanna barrel-aged Brett ale against variations aged in four different red wine barrels. The base version of Rosanna is made with American pilsner malt, unmalted wheat, German sterling, house-aged whole cone hops, and limestone-filtered well water. The beer is then fermented and aged on the Brettanomyces strain Lambicus and finally added to Aglianico, Tannat, Petite Sirah, and Tempranillo barrels from Bending Branch Winery (Comfort, TX).
Half of the batch was blended to create Rosanna, which contains flavors and aromas of pear, stone fruit, leather, and cherry pie thanks to the Lambicus (along with the typical Brett earthiness). The other half of the batch consisted of the single-barrel varietals that weren’t blended. Brewmaster Josh Watterson led our group through a sampling of each varietal and discussed the unique flavors imparted by each barrel to the base Rosanna beer.
These tastings are always incredibly educational, and Saturday’s was no different. While we enjoyed sampling each varietal, our favorite was the blend. The nuanced complexity really distinguished it from the varietals. Thank you to Vista Brewing for a great event and for the hospitality. We really appreciate the invitation and look forward to many more visits to the brewery.
Vista Brewing is open Thursday through Saturday from 11am to 10pm and Sunday from 11am to 8pm. The brewery is family friendly and dog friendly.