Rebel Beist is a Norwegian dark ale that’s now pouring in Oshkosh in the taprooms at Bare Bones and Fifth Ward…
This one is definitely different and in a good way. It starts with a wine-like aroma; juniper, mingled with dark cherry, orange, and plum. That aromatic complexity carries into the palate with a slight tartness that accentuates those fruity esters. There’s a bedrock of toasty malt underneath it all (they used Ashburne Mild Malt for the base), but the star here is the dry, wine-like complexity that makes the beer light on the palate and quaffable. This was fermented with Kveik, a Norwegian farmhouse yeast. We haven’t had many Kveik fermented beers appear in Oshkosh. This beer is an excellent point of entry if you’re curious to see what this yeast can do. Rebel Beist is 8% ABV and just right for warming you during this sloppy freeze we’re locked in.
Rebel Beist was brought here by Oshkosh-area homebrewer Tim Pfeister. Last fall, Pfeister enrolled in the Milwaukee Barley to Barrel program, a 10-week crash course in what it takes to launch a brewery. Part of that program entails seeing a beer through from recipe formulation to marketing and sales. Rebel Beist, which was produced at Gathering Place Brewing in Milwaukee, is the result of that effort.
“I was on Team Gathering Place,” Pfeister says. “We all generally agreed on a belly-warmer being a good beer to bring to market for winter. Corey Blodgett, the head brewer for Gathering Place, started talking about how they’re using this new strain of yeast, Kviek, and that’s when the whole thing got tied together into a Norwegian dark ale.”
When the beer was completed, Pfeister reached out to some of his local friends in the Oshkosh beer community. “That’s when I contacted Jody and Zach and Ian (Jody Cleveland, head brewer at Bare Bones; and Zach Clark and Ian Wenger, of Fifth Ward). They each committed to purchasing a keg and I purchased a keg of my own. I put the kids in the van, drove down to Milwaukee, and muled it on back to Oshkosh. And I feel pretty good about doing such.” He should. And it’s always good seeing local brewers – homebrewers and pro-brewers – supporting one another. Skål!