Carnevale! It’s not such a big deal in the United States (unless you go to New Orleans), but over in Europe and down in South America, it’s pretty big. It’s basically a big party complete with parades and masks, and it’s the last chance for Catholics to enjoy those things they’re giving up for lent.
Hopefully, you’re not giving up beer, but if you are, I suggest you hurry and enjoy a glass of Lost Abbey Carnevale before Lent begins. This seasonal beer is only available in the early part of the New Year, and it just might be gone by the time Easter arrives. As the brewery says:
Brewed in celebration of Lent and Easter season, Carnevale is light bodied Saison, using Brettanomyces along with Amarillo and Simcoe hops to generate flavor and depth. Carnevale’s complexity grows with time. The citrus notes tend to wane and the wild yeast rears its wonderfully tasting head.
I haven’t seen Lost Abbey Carnevale in bottles yet and perhaps I won’t at all this year, but I did enjoy a fresh draft glass at my local Taco Mac in Canton. It was a little pricey at $6.25 for an 11-ounce glass, but not super pricey. The beer has an alcohol content of 6.5% by volume and is brewed with Amarillo and Simcoe hops, then fermented with Brettanomyces yeast. Taco Mac incorrectly listed this as a Belgian Pale Ale; it’s a saison according to the brewery as you can see above. After tasting it, I would agree with Lost Abbey.
My glass of Lost Abbey Carnevale arrived an attractive yellow-orange color with light funk in the nose from the Brett. Taking a sip, there’s a bit of caramel appropriate to the style and a wheat-like lightness in body. More musty yeasty funk shows up in the palate, with late orange citrus from the hops and a subtle sourness. Soft herbal hops appear at the last, too. I like the citrus notes imparted by the hops, but the brett yeast really adds a kick to this beer.
And hey, if you did give beer up for Lent, go on out there and find a bottle or draft glass of Lost Abbey Carnevale. You’ve earned it….
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.