I first visited Modist Brewing Company in the North Loop neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis (near Target Field, home of the Twins, and Target Center) in their first week of opening. This beer, pHresh, merely labeled as "a tart, refreshing ale", was one of the first beers they had on tap, along with Smoove and Calibration. I didn't take notes, but hung out for a little bit with brewer and co-owner Keagan Knee, who I knew from the days when he was assistant brewing at Harriet, before making the move to Dangerous Man. There would come another time for jotting of notes, I decided.
My next visit was stop #3 on a bike sojourn with Jason B. on a Sunday, after visiting Steel Toe in St. Louis Park and LTD in Hopkins. Again, I didn't take notes, but I did take pictures, which are now lost to me. I considered this brewery #38 of the year, and although I will not use that visit as their entry in Minnesota Breweries One by One. It will keep the number, though. Because I like being confusing?
My first notes on a Modist beer, then, were the ones taken from my consumption of the first crowler I ever tossed back (they were not available at the taproom before), which was compliments of Modist sales-rep John Donnealy. (Thanks, John!) It must have worked, for I've just tapped a keg of the "tart ale" at Acadia Cafe.
Now, here come my notes, rescued from the notebook, taken on June 3.
Modist Brewing pHresh. 4.5% ABV. Crowley filled 5/25.
Hazy, cloudy, yet with bright golden coloring, bold white head, slims down, but stays.
Nose starts out wild and funky, all orange peel and lemon. wild & stinky. Cat pee, barnyard, all of that. Horseshoe nail polish. Eau de funky feet. And I can dig it.
In the mouth: fresh (however you want to spell it), brisk, clean, light-bodied and refreshing easy-drinker. The tartness is just right here, just enough to keep you coming back to the pint. I like this; good beer and you can drink it. Bright fruit, manageable sour/tart, more orange comes through, more lemon and lime. Exquisitely likable.
"Is this the future of pale ale?" I mused with pen and notebook a month ago. "The culmination of sour? Maybe...."
I must have written that for a reason. I think this will be quite a game-changer around these parts. And just one of many examples of the kind of revolutionary beer that Modist will be making. Looking forward to so much more from them.
Here's what the website says (again, excuse the "yelling"):
A LIGHT BODIED TART ALE WITH HINTS OF HONEYDEW MELON, HONEY, AND ANGEL FOOD CAKE. THE PRESENCE OF ELLA, EQUINOX, AND HULL MELON HOPS GIVE THIS BEER SOFT APRICOT, LEMON, AND PEAR NOTES THAT BALANCE THE LIGHT MALT SWEETNESS AND PURPOSEFUL TART FINISH.