When Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida) does something, they tend to do it right. The same could be said for The Bruery (Placenita, CA), so it seemed only right that the two fledging breweries got together for a colloborative effort: Dos Costas Oeste, a farmhouse style saison. It translates to “Two West Coasts,” referring to Tampa being on the western coast of Florida and The Bruery being in California.
The beer is described as “a high gravity ale with coriander, ginger, and sweet orange peel.” Sounds tasty enough, right? Cigar City and The Bruery didn’t stop there. The two breweries, both known for their proficiency in barrel-aging beer with different types of wood, decided to do three different variations aged in different of woods local to Florida, where the beer was brewed. The three wood treatments used were cedar, grapefruit wood, and lemon wood.
Dos Costas Oeste: Cedar
The cedar aroma is very apparent as soon as you open the 750ml bottle, and you can also smell the coriander and ginger. The beer pours a hazy golden orange color with about two fingers of head, which dissipates quickly. As you taste this beer, there is decent carbonation and you can get some coriander and ginger up front, but that quickly changes to being very cedar heavy, and for me, that was a good thing. Tampa is known as “Cigar City,” hence the name of the brewery, and humidors are commonly made with cedar, so this is a perfect fit. The farmhouse funk was also heavily present. While this treatment was very cedar heavy, I enjoyed it. Dos Costas Oeste: Cedar was quite different from other wood-aged beers. Unique and tasty.
Dos Costas Oeste: Lemon Wood
As I opened the Lemon Wood, I quickly found that this one is a bottle bomb (sponteneously flowing out of the bottle after opening, similar to champagne). Once I cleaned up the mess, there was some lemon smell to it, but nothing overwhelming. This one has a much more subdued smell as opposed to the cedar treatment. This is also lighter in color – almost a foamy, dark yellow. The taste was much more subdued, and a bit bland in comparision. I got more Belgian yeast in this one, with slight fruit notes. The real downfall to the Lemon Wood variety is the vast over-carbonation, which distracts from the rest of the beer.
Dos Costas Oeste: Grapefruit Wood
The Grapefruit Wood is the one I was most excited for, and was rated the highest on beer sites. Many friends also said that this was the only one of the three worth buying. As I opened the bottle, I got a smell of juicy citrus and a little coriander. The beer pours a murky orange color with some decent lacing on the glass as the head goes down. As soon as you taste the beer, you get a lot of citrus and a fair amount of coriander. The beer has a slight dryness to it from the wood, and an appropriate amount of carbonation. Not as full-flavored as the Cedar, but noticably more so than the Lemon Wood.
Overall, all of the Dos Costas Oeste beers are certainly drinkable and worth trying. They are priced fairly in the $13-$14 range for a 750ml (I bought them in Florida). There is a slight chance you can find a bottle or two of these in a less picked over beercentric store in New York state, but you would have to be lucky, and hope that they don’t gauge you (I saw them at a well known craft beer spot that is known to gauge for $22 a piece, and left them on the shelf). Sadly, Cigar City does not have distribution in Connecticut.
Dos Costas Oeste: Cedar:
Dos Costas Oeste: Lemon Wood:
Dos Costas Oeste: Grapefruit Wood:
If you have any questions, comments, or want to send me samples to review here, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and facebook.com/northeastbeerhunter.