The new brew is Transmitter’s R1, a limited dry-hopped saison made exclusively for Randolph Brooklyn and Randolph Beer. It debuts at the latter on Thursday as part of a loaded seven-beer event spotlighting the brewery that focuses on Belgian and French styles and has impressed many — myself included — since launching in June of 2014.
Kyle Kensrue is Randolph’s Certified Cicerone and lives near Transmitter’s headquarters in Long Island City. “It started as a friendship, me going there and talking. But it wasn’t long before I started carrying their beers regularly at both spots,” he said. “We came to the idea of a making this beer together organically. [Transmitter is] arguably New York City’s foremost authority on the saison, so it made sense to choose that to make. We get a lot of beer drinkers at Randolph that are just getting into craft so I wanted to be careful not to do a saison that was too funky or out there and alienate our customers. I wanted it to be approachable for everyone.”
Transmitter approached the task of creating an accessible saison by dry-hopping the amber-colored beer, a process of adding hops after fermentation has finished to inject intense aromatics. The brewery used TNT hops, a new blend from Germany. “We’ve been eager to try it. It has great juicy citrus notes. You get ripe strawberry and green apple aromas from it and it plays well with the Belgian yeast. I think people will love those flavors, especially given the time of year now,” said Transmitter’s Anthony Accardi.
R1’s recipe also features rye malt, which contributes spiciness and a dryness to each sip, and acidulated malt for a touch of tang. I joined Kensrue and Accardi yesterday for its first sampling and I predict I will drink more before the single batch is gone. (Criswell better agree!) It satisfies my three summertime-standby touchstones: dry, flavorful and refreshing. They were also both happy with it.
“I like the ripe berry flavor: starts in the beginning and makes the beer really approachable. Then that gets cleaned up in the end by the rye, which gives a sharpness to it,” Kensrue said.
“It’s hoppy, but it’s not counting on the hops to carry the flavor,” Accardi added. “There’s a nice interplay overall between the fruitness and the spiciness. This is something I could see myself drinking a lot of on a hot day.”