Drink This Now: Fleur de Lis, by Four Quarters Brewing Co.
The weekend is so close, you can almost taste it. In this series, we highlight a must-drink beer, cocktail, glass of wine, boozy milkshake, etc. that you should put on your radar this weekend.
Ease into the weekend with this refreshing, low-alcohol brew from Four Quarters Brewing Co., a nanobrewery in Winooski, Vt. Founded in 2014, Brian Eckert’s beers don’t typically make it out of the Green Mountain State just yet, but he’s sent a couple kegs of Fleur de Lis to Boston this weekend, in honor of BeerAdvocate’s Extreme Beer Fest.
Tonight, find it on draft at the Tip Tap Room, and you can also try it on Friday, February 4 during the After Sours party at Row 34.
Fleur de Lis is billed as a tart saison, but the drink has a flavor profile similar to a Berliner weisse. The 4.4 percent ABV beer is light, tart, and dry, with a soft malt backbone. The beer is kettle soured, then barreled with brewer’s yeast and two wild yeasts in washed red wine barrels, giving it oakiness, and a subtle, almost vanilla creaminess. First debuted in April 2014, Fleur is among Four Quarters’ regular offerings, including in corked, 750-mL bottles. “If you hold onto a bottle for a year, the flavors will develop a little more,” Eckert says.
In 2016, it’s likely Boston will see more of Fleur de Lis, Eckert says. He is currently in the process of replacing his original, 4 BBL equipment with a 10 BBL mash tun and fermenters. He hopes to have the new equipment in place by Four Quarters’ second anniversary, coming up on March 19. It will double the brewery’s current output.
“Fleur is my No. 1 priority” in bottles and on draft, he says. That mainly means more Fleur for Vermont—currently, the bottles are only for sale at the brewery. “But we’re working with distributors in Boston, Portland, Maine, and soon, Pennsylvania and New York,” Eckert says. “I want to get that beer out as far as I can to beer communities. Boston definitely has a rich beer community.”
Four Quarters is distributed locally by Craft Collective. The boutique distributor’s cofounder Adam Oliveri says the likeliest scenarios in which Bostonians will see Four Quarters’ beers this year are special events, like those around this weekend’s Extreme Beer Fest.
Beyond the equipment upgrade, though, Eckert is “in serious talks with another Vermont brewery to contract brew” a larger batch of beer monthly, he says. No deals have been signed, so he declined to name the brewery, but he said the relationship would provide access to a canning line. If that works out, his American brown ale Great Bear and SunDog double IPA will likely see wider distribution come summertime, as well.
But for now, it’s Fleur. The beer also serves as the base for some of Four Quarters’ wackier offerings at the festival this weekend: One cask is conditioned with blueberries, lemon zest, lavender, and honey; one features pineapple, jalapeño, and sea salt; and another is called Four Quarterez, with mojito-inspired orange zest, juice, and spearmint.
“It’s easy to appreciate [Fleur de Lis], so I’m hoping to make it an affordable, entry-level sour beer,” Eckert says.