What is it?
Commissioner Gourdon is a seasonal beer brewed by the folks at Frothy Beard Brewing Company.
Frothy Beard Brewing is considered a nano brewery, a popular segment in the craft brewing industry, in which production is kept small.
The beers are handcrafted and made daily in small batches at the North Charleston brewery.
This Belgian ale is a seasonal beer for Frothy Beard and has a short run of availability on taps and in growlers at the brewery.
What’s the story?
Beer brewed from the cucurbitacea family (squash, pumpkins, gourds) has a long history with American beer makers.
George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson all brewed beers made from pumpkins and squash.
Over time, the exclusive use of pumpkins and squash in the brewing process has changed. Before the easy availability of barley, the early settlers relied on the sugar content of “pompions” — large melons, gourds and squash — to ferment their beers.
These “pumpkins” were sometimes pressed like apples or added cooked or raw to the mash, a process that hydrates grains and activates enzymes for converting starches to fermentable sugars.
In the case of Frothy Beard, Michael Biondi, Steve McCauley and Joey Siconolfi use local Rosebank Farms’ carnival squash sourced through GrowFood Carolina to create their fall beer.
The squash is roasted and added to the mash. A light spice blend also is added during the boil.
It is a vegan-friendly beer and although considered a novelty beer by some brewers, the Frothy Beard version is not syrupy sweet and maintains its beer identity. As a light Belgian ale, you can count on it to pair well with turkey, barbecue, roast chicken and aged cheeses.
In 1620, the odds favored the Pilgrims drinking beer and cider and not wine.
So, in honor of that “first” feast and the all-American heritage of this holiday, not to mention football, Thanksgiving rightfully tilts towards beer consumption.
What’s the price?
Commissioner Gourdon sells for $6 a pint, $10 for 32-ounce growler and $18 for a 64-ounce growler.
Who’s selling it?
Frothy Beard Brewing, 7358 Peppermill Parkway, North Charleston
What’s the taste?
Carnival squash is a cross between sweet dumpling and acorn squash. Its buttery, nutty flavor notes are accented by roasting and bring backbone and balance to the mash used to create this ale.
Commissioner Gourdon is not overly sweet or spiced and finishes with the flavors of beer (and hops) and nutty, aromatic overtones.