Name: Wooden Robot Brewery
Location: Charlotte, NC
What you need to know: Wooden Robot opened in 2015 and describe themselves as an urban farmhouse brewery. They are one of the newer additions to Charlotte’s craft beer scene in the South End neighborhood. Their name comes from the combination of respect for Belgian brewing traditions and American innovation. Likewise, they have split their taps between hoppier American beer styles, and Belgian-inspired farmhouse styles. Besides their selections at Savor, Wooden Robot will be available on Thursday at The Sovereign, and on Saturday at ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar.
Beer/Food Pairing #1: Jarrahdale Pumpkin (Saison / 6.5% ABV) paired with Curry Squash Samosa
Notes/Thoughts: Jarrahdale Pumpkin Saison is a collaboration between Wooden Robot, Infinite Ale Works, and Green Bench Brewing. Each brewed their own version of this beer using the same recipe with their own ingredients and tweaks to the brewing process. Wooden Robot’s version features local malts and North Carolinian grown Jarrahdale blue pumpkins, and then is open fermented and bottle conditioned. The pumpkin and squash combination in the pairing makes sense, and I’m also a fan of pairing curry and saison, so this is worth recommending.
Beer/Food Pairing #2: Thicket as Thieves (Sour / 6% ABV) paired with Angel Food Cake with Macerated Berries and Lime Zest
Notes/Thoughts: Thicket as Thieves starts as a golden sour that is aged on a house mixed culture in Wooden Robot’s oak foeder before refermenting with two pounds of blackberries per gallon. The resulting beer is deep purple in color, with plenty of blackberry in the aroma. The fruity and tart flavors are the main components of the taste, but there are oaky flavors in the finish as well. The berries in the beer could match up with the berries on the cake, so the beer could act as an extra sauce. I’m worried the beer could potentially overpower the dessert, so I’m not 100% convinced on the pairing.
Overall Impressions: Wooden Robot is bringing two unique Belgian-influenced beers to SAVOR, and it is clear that they take those styles very seriously. The reviews for both are quite positive, though there are a limited number of the pumpkin saison reviews. I am more interested in the samosa pairing, but I do think both beers will be intriguing. Anyone interested in Belgian styles should make a stop at this table.