Before Louis Pasteur came along, after a brew day was done, brewers would lay their beer down in a shallow tub to cool overnight. During that time, the wort would collect the wild yeast strains floating around the air. What resulted was a beer that was totally unique to the spot in which it was created. Thanks to brewers yeast, this method has almost gone extinct. Yet, a few breweries are daring enough to try their hand at the old-world method.
It should come as no surprise that Portland, Maine’s Allagash Brewing Company is one of those breweries. The producer of world-class Belgian-style ales sets the bar nationwide for its attention to detail and craftsmanship. Its Coolship series includes versions, including Coolship Red (aged with raspberries), Cerise (cherries) and Pechê, but the star of the show is Resurgam. Named for the motto of the city of Portland, it means "I shall rise again." Coolship Resurgam blends spontaneously fermented beers aged for one, two and three years in French oak barrels.
Resurgam is a beer that could be served at a wine dinner and be right at home.”
Appearance and Aroma
Resurgam pours a golden-yellow with a slight orange tint. The beer clings lightly to the glass to create minimal lacing, but the head of the beer is a thing of beauty: light, airy and with a cloud-like texture. In the aroma—and forgive me if I sound like an overeager sommelier—there’s an effervescence, acidity and slight fruitiness complimented by a farmhouse funk.
This beer has been well-received both at home and internationally, and it’s no surprise. There’s a mild tartness to the medium-bodied beer. To counter the acidity, there’s an earthy note that comes through in the middle of each sip. I get a Saltine-cracker dryness in the finish, but the beer remains clean and polished.
I tend to appreciate beer that has a beginning, middle, and an end. This beer exemplifies that. There’s a complexity in the aroma that elicits fruit and funk, the middle is a wave of textured tartness and earthiness, and the finish is crisp and dry. Resurgam is a beer that could be served at a wine dinner and be right at home. It could be served oceanside with hand-shucked oysters and buttery steamed clams and do the same. It’s a perfect beer.