The craft brewing community is one of conviviality and camaraderie. With a group so collaborative and tight-knit, it takes a broad toll when we lose one of our own. In August of last year, one of Stone Brewing Co.'s brewers died in a forklift accident (through no fault of Stone or his own -- industrial production carries inherent risk). Matt Courtright was 27 years old, incredibly talented in the brewhouse, an outgoing charity worker, and a beloved personality. This week's brew honors his memory.
See also: Hide Your Livers, It's Strong Beer Month
Burning Rosids is one of the last recipes created by Courtright before his passing. The brew is a beefed-up Belgian Saison at 10.5 percent ABV, and is infused with cherrywood-smoked malt. The name references the rosid plant family that includes cherry trees.
The saison yeast creates a fruity aroma with notes of black pepper. The flavor also has a fruit-forward component, with hints of stone fruit and pear. The most salient character of the beer comes from the cherrywood-smoked malt, which swaths the beverage in a rich, savory smokiness that offsets any lingering sweetness. We recommend pairing this beer with all manner of Southern foods.
The proceeds from the brew are being donated to two of Courtright's most beloved charities -- GoDesignInc.org, which fulfills architectural needs of developing communities, and TKF, a nonprofit dedicated to ending youth violence through education and mentoring. We heartily recommend taking Stone's advice to "Enjoy, and please remember that life and those we hold dear are precious gifts to be cherished every day. Consider sharing this beer, conversations on life's passions and, again, lots of laughter, with good friends as we remember ours."