St. Bretta, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Denver

Style: Witbier

ABV: 5.5 percent

Serving Type: Draft

Malty? Hoppy? Neither. Equal parts citrusy and tart.

Reviewed: August 2013

It didn’t take us long to fall for brewer Chad Yakobson’s Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. Months ago, we found our way to the brewery’s small taproom and barrel cellar in an office park in the Sunnyside neighborhood, took one sip of the delicious golden sour ale, L’Brett d’Or, and have been on the lookout for Crooked Stave brews every since. (And we’re not the only ones: Denverites have lined up by the dozens outside Crooked Stave’s small taproom to get their hands on Yakobson’s latest releases.)

Crooked Stave specializes in sour beers and wild ales fermented with a particular strain of yeast known as Brettanomyces, or “Brett”, which generally imparts a tart flavor. The “sour beer” label can be a turnoff for the average beer drinker, but lately we’ve had a few glasses of Crooked Stave’s St. Bretta—a witbier brewed with a hefty amount of blood oranges—and are convinced that any fan of light, citrusy summer-style brews should give it a shot. St. Bretta pours a rich golden color, and has hints of lemon and orange on the nose. The beer tastes like you’re taking a bite of a fresh piece of citrus fruit. The body is light, and almost a bit creamy, but the brew finishes dry.

Bonus: Crooked Stave is in the process of moving to a larger, more prominent location at The Source, a new artisan market scheduled to open in the River North neighborhood sometime around the end of September.

Would we buy it again? Whether it’s on tap or liquor store shelves, we buy it almost every time we see it.