“…We fell damn hard in love with his beers and the sacred aura surrounding them. It was the silent ritual, the careful use of a secret Transylvanian ingredient and the interpreted integration of such a rich history that caught our attention.” – David Atman
The above quote is from David Atman of la Décapsule des Frères Atman, he is describing one of the reasons why they chose Microbrasserie Kruhnen as the brewery to house and distribute their very first beer. I am extremely excited to write this article because (1) I get to promote one of my favorite blogs, (2) I get to talk about a beer that my friends produced, and (3) I have a chance to write about basically living the beer blogger’s dream of creating and distributing a beer with a quality craft brewery. If you were not already aware, the boys from la Décapsule des Frères Atman are releasing their very own RyePA this Saturday in a collaboration with Microbrasserie Kruhnen, I recommend attending the ‘bottle release’ event in Blainville, Quebec (details here and here!).
Décapsule is the brain child of two charismatic and hilarious brothers; David & Alex Atman. Their site is rich in content (far more than mine), with loads of well produced video, as well as numerous blog entries. Being predominantly anglophone, I sometimes struggle with understanding Francophone blogs and videos in their entirety. However, when it comes to Décapsule, there is such warmth, simplicity, relatability, and just plain hilariousness, that I always feel like it get it, even if some of the syntax goes over my head. These guys work incredibly hard at their craft, and it shows. The first time I stumbled across a video of these two, they were filming on top of their roof, drinking a ridiculous 1150IBU beer from Black Barn Brewery (a nano brewery in the south shore). Their silliness mixed with a clear understanding of beer had me intrigued, and then ultimately hooked. They stress drinking local and predominantly cover beer and topics from the region of Quebec. I’ve gotten to know David quite well, as I work very closely with him on an ongoing project called Beerlinked.
As I was talking to David the other day, I was able to sneak in some hard hitting questions about their beer release (and by hard hitting, I really mean those typical, none-creative, lame questions that everyone asks). And his replies, like usual, are informative and entertaining.
So David, when did your obsession with general “monkeyness” start?
I suppose twas on the eve of Christmas 1994 when my siblings handed me this terrifyingly awesome monkey puppet. A Hosung monkey. Turns out they’re kinda valuable now. Kinda.
How did you guys come to choose the name “King Cogne?”
It made us larf.
So how did the collaboration with Kruhnen come about?
Back in October 2012, knowing nothing of the place, we paid Kruhnen a little visit with our cameras and came face to face with Ovi Bercan, the mystery monk with a fire in his eyes. We fell damn hard in love with his beer and the sacred aura surrounding them. It was the silent ritual, the careful use of a secret Transylvanian ingredient and the interpreted integration of such a rich history that caught our attention. That, and Ovi was just about the warmest most generous person we’d encountered.
Had you been scouting for someone to work with?
Not yet we hadn’t. Starting La Décapsule, it had always been a wild dream of ours to have our own beer on the market, my brother being a long time brewer and all. It still seemed like a far off goal. It took us just about a year to muster the courage and propose to Ovi. He said yes.
So why a Rye PA?
Well for one, there ain’t many around, and we’re a big fan of the few we’ve tried. We dig the whole nutha dimension that rye brings to the table, be it spice or silk or the whole dryness of it. It’s a beer made for summer, not quite fit for the 4oz format, you see? I mean, we got nothing against sipping slow, but you’ll want a pint or two of this tropical beast.
Any plans for another? If so, what’s next?
We were seriously debating between two beers – like, legit wrestling no shirt no shoes in the snow during the brainstorm process. We have this other recipe for a solid Imperial Stout that’s creamy as a creamy cream-puff, and a potent IPA done with a certain rare and expensive spice. Something that’s never been done before. Something that’ll light up the darkness, quite literally.
You’re going to stay with Kruhnen?
If he’ll have us. Kruhnen’s where it’s at. Cause no matter what recipe we bring forth, a few key elements in the brewing process ensure that each beer carries that Kruhnen signature. But concerning a second batch, we’ll cross that bridge when and if (especially if) this first batch is a success. Which we really, really hope it is. I mean, we made the kind of beer we wanted to drink. We hope others feel the same way.
Any other fun non-brewing endeavors in the works for Décapsule?
For shizzle my mizzle bizzle wizzle. Still touring the province for a solid second season of the show! And lots more food on the platter. People want noms? We got noms!
“Beware this beer, for no one is safe! Undercover in the urban jungle, the King watches you, his silky body of rye ready to pounce and deliver a knockout of tropical hops. Get ready for the next round of gorilla warfare.”
The above quote appears on the side of this sexy bottle, but unfortunately as you see in the pictures, my bottle was lacking the giant gorilla with boxing gloves – they are still in the process of labeling them now. When beer is made with rye as part of the grain bill, it takes on a beautiful velvety body, with some often hard to describe peppery spiciness. RyePA’s or Rye Pale Ales generally resemble IPA’s more than Pale Ales, as it’s more of a play on words than anything else. The hop complexities generally marry well with the spices that rye grains bring to the table. David is right, there are not many examples Quebec; the only one I can think of is Microbrasserie Charlevoix’s Vache Folle RyePA.
So I can’t wait any longer, I want this Giant Gorrilla in my belly! King Cogne pours out a beautifully glowing foggy orange colour, with a perfect bone white head on top that doesn’t dissipate, all the way until the last sip. The refreshing aroma begins with loads of herbal and citrusy hops, and some zesty yeast esters to compliment it. The rye provides a spicy kick to the aroma, and as my nose really gets in there, I start perceiving even more fruit, like mango and pineapple, with some slight vanilla in the background.
After taking the first sip, I’m immediately in the mood for summer. The bitterness is potent, quite potent indeed, but doesn’t out-weight the other flavors in the least – which consist mainly of tropical fruit, rye pepperyness, loads of fresh hops, and some oats. Think, very crisp and very dry. This is what a session IPA should be (not that this is one at 6.5%, but you get my point). It’s incredibly smooth and drinkable, but with a massive bitter end that helps dry everything out. This beer is really all about the finish, with a beautiful lingering bitterness that carries the rye and resiny hops with it; they rest there, waiting for your next sip. It’s just so very refreshing, with a slightly lighter body that makes it just perfect. I’d buy this all year long.
There it is, the sexiest RyePA Quebec has ever produced. The boxing gloved, fist wheelin’ gorilla mascot could not have been a more fitting choice. This beer has the finesse and balance of a boxer, while still being gargantuan in its flavor, and especially in its hop bitterness. It is without a doubt “King Cogne!” Kudos boys! It is certainly a success in my opinion, and I’m pretty sure others will see it that way as well. So for those reading this, please make your way to their ‘bottle release’ sale this Saturday, May 10th and but yourself some! – Details here! (They will be hitting certain beer shops around the province as well.)
An article by Noah Forrest