Strap in and Enjoy the Ride
A Review of Two Gypsies Our Side by Mikkeller
Posted on 5/12/2012 by Chops
Collaboration brews are experimental concoctions made in conjunction with multiple brewers. Sounds complicated, but it's just another way of saying ''two brewer heads are better than one''. Since brewers tend to hone a particular brewing style, it can be really fun to see what comes about when those styles clash. The take-home word here is ''unpredictability''. Two brewers sharing facilities is one thing. But what happens when two unconventional gypsy brewers collaborate on a new brew? This is the question I set out to answer when I came across the Two Gypsies Our Side, an artisanal saison created by none other than Mikkeller and Stillwater. You could probably discern that the ''wow'' factor played heavily into making this purchase.

In the glass, this beer has a hazy dark orange coloration. It comes with a large frothy white head that likes to stick around for quite a spell. One the nose, I found an array of delectable aromas that make saisons so mouthwatering. That unmistakable sweet orange citrus filled the air around the rim, complimented by lemongrass and savory herbal notes. This particular saison has a crisp hop presence that foreshadows some attitude. Course, I would expect nothing less considering the source.

That first sip was really interesting because it starts off as smooth and unassuming. But once you cross into the middle ground, those crisp hops jump to the forefront and carry through the finish. The hop profile infuses the citrus with a tangy character that almost crosses into IPA territory. From there I could study the base malt, which consisted of that signature bready sweetness from the Belgian yeasts along with some woody notes. Swirling around the mix are plenty of other fruity flavors like apples and peaches. The mouthfeel is quite thin and finishes dry. This beer has a very nice balance of sweet and bitter, which is quite remarkable for the style. Our Side is definitely an aggressive saison, but not so much as to be distracting. You can almost think of this beer as a hybrid between a sweet saison and strong pale ale.

Overall, Mikkeller and Stillwater's Two Gypsies Our Side collaboration saison is a fantastic brew. It's certainly an oddball from a stylistic standpoint, but that's kind of the point. This is a boundary pushing creation from two boundary pushing brewers. I would have actually been disappointed as a brew enthusiast if this beer wasn't a head scratching adventure. That being said, I can still recommend this brew to all levels of beer fans. It's complex enough to satisfy seasoned palates and mild enough to wow novices. My only advice would be to go into this beer with zero expectations. Just strap in and enjoy the ride. Yes, it's a saison, but that's only the starting point.

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Two Gypsies Our Side by Mikkeller
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