As part of a collaboration with Penrose Brewing, a new brewery in Geneva, the Rule29 team came up with two different beers (via two different teams) to be unveiled at our Annual Advisor Dinner in March. The Conteur Blackberry Saison was “Team Bob’s” choice brew.
This beer is driven by the story behind it. A story of local ingredients and connections… local water, local honey (Heritage Praire), local blackberries, local team, and a local brew. We believe beer is crafted with the passion of individuals behind it for the sake of the stories that will be told after its pour. We wanted to offer a beer that not only embodies this narrative, but fits nicely within the vision of Penrose and Belgian-inspired ales.
When we set out to help develop the recipe with head brewmaster Tom Korder, we knew that we wanted the foundation of a Belgian ale. We preferred a beer that was smooth over bitter yet with slight hop notes in the front. We settled on developing a saison with experimental hops that would be influenced in body with the honey and transformed in color via the blackberries. At the same time, we were weary of it being an overall “fruity” beer and aimed to keep the blackberry tones subtle, yet recognizable.
In light of the beer’s nod to shared stories, the name “Conteur” was chosen, which is French for “Storyteller.” It comes from the French word raconteur: one who tells stories and anecdotes with skill and wit. We believed this name embodied the sense of community that a good brew can bring to any group of people, and we love even more so how this can provide a platform for stories to be exchanged and lives to be shared. Conteur embodied this sentiment beautifully.
In addition, Conteur is a saison brew (a beer style that originated from beers brewed during the cooler and less active months in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium) so the French name seemed particularly fitting.
We chose a tulip style bottle for serving (as that is typically what saison beers are served best in) and we also chose a bomber-style bottle for bottling the brew.
Our mark and our look was, in part, inspired by the geometric patterns of Penrose, with a very modern feel and warm colors. We used the geometry of the honeycomb to model our label and relied on organic imagery to drive home the sense of richness, healthfulness and comfort that we hope is the experience of our brew.
At the Advisors Dinner we paired our beer with a charcuterie crostini with goat cheese, fig & ginger jam, and Heritage Prarie Farm honey, compliments of our friends at Blackberry Market – the perfect blend of ingredients to make the flavors of our beer really come together.