Why Don’t You Come Over, Have A Sip Of Cedar Creek Clover Kicker.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Cedar Creek Brewery’s Clover Kicker.Fast Facts on Cedar Creek Brewery Clover Kicker.
Style: Saison.
ABV: 6.8 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 27.
Color: Pale Orange.
Availability: Limited – Draft.

If you’re feeling like DFW is getting you down, head southeast on US 175. In case you haven’t heard of Seven Points, it’s out that-a-way. Haven’t heard of Seven Points? Well, it’s near Mabank. Haven’t heard of Mabank? Well get a fucking map, because this is a beer review.

Cedar Creek is one of those quiet sorts of operations that occasionally pops up on my radar screen with beers like its Dankosaurus, an IPA that seems to pull double-duty with its tacit nod t6o stoners. Or perhaps you tried its Belgian Dubbel? That beer took home gold at GABF in 2013. I remember when I first tried Cedar Creek’s dubbel – it was canned in one of those super-generic pint cans with a paper label glued on it. It felt so clandestine and seemed to make the beer taste even better, what with its semi-homespun vibe with the packaging. Cedar Creek also got some major attention when DFW sour geek, Black Man Brew yeast company owner, and now-brewer at Deep Ellum, Barrett Tillman, collaborated with Cedar Creek on its super-delicious Berlinerweisse. Cedar Creek released Clover Kicker in 2014, and it has taken us this long to get to writing about it. After all, this is a special release beer from Cedar Creek, so get some while it’s around.Background on Saison.
If you’d like a primer on the saison style, check out our review on Four Corners’ El Superbee Saison. The saison style was typically – and historically – consumed in the fall during harvest time. It hails from France and Belgium; yeast strains oftentimes show that archetype Belgian fruit and hints of funk, so you’ll know that aroma and flavor if you know what you’re looking for. In DFW, though, the saison style shows up with more regularity in the warmer months. And as we’re heading squarely in to March, it felt right to pick up a saison and give it a go. Saisons can have some citrus twang and some peppery spice in the flavor. Some saison yeast strains ferment well above the normal ale range, and this temperature tolerance can help create some really memorable aromas and flavors. And while these yeasts are highly attenuative, some don’t flocculate out as nicely as other ale yeasts, so some haze is normal in the finished product.

Clover Kicker pours a pale orange in to the glass. A moderate amount of white head hangs about, and remains as I make it about halfway through the pour. There’s quite a bit of haze here, which is okay for this style of beer.

Compared to some other more funky saisons, Clover Kicker has a very clean aroma. I don’t perceive a whole lot of hop aroma here, which is a good thing. Some brewers try to go overkill with hops in the saison style — and while that move isn’t out of step with the style — it can feel a bit distracting sometimes. But that’s not the case here: Clover Kicker has a clean, crisp, orange-lemon citrus sensation that teams up with subtle esters to provide a nice sense of balance.

The citrus is also present in the flavor department. I also notice a bit of peppery spice, likely from hops or from a late boil or flameout addition of coriander or grains of paradise (think dried pepper berries). What semi-sweet sensation I get in the aroma doesn’t not play through to the taste; Clover Kicker finishes bright and dry.Mouthfeel.
Although you might think that this hazy beer is going to be a slog to get through, don’t let that haze fool you. This highly attenuated beer finishes dry and crisp. This is a medium-bodied beer, and the aftertaste leaves a tingle on my lips and in my throat due to its cranked-up carbonation.

Overall Impression.
As it turns out, and in full disclosure, the DFW rep for Cedar Creek was at Lakewood Growler as I was writing this review, so I decided to chat him up about his beer. For the record, brewers don’t pay for the beer that we review for this site. And not to poo-poo on the review of Clover Kicker here, but word on the street is that there’s an interesting multi-pack of Dankosaurus in the works. Put me down for two cases please.

But back to Clover Kicker. As a saison, this beer colors nicely within the lines for the style. It’s not trying to push the boundaries for the style, but that’s not a bad thing after all! I will absolutely buy this beer again when I see it around – while it’s here at least. This beer gets a hard recommend.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Cedar Creek Brewery Clover Kicker a 7.25.What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Saturday, March 11. Tater Tots and Beer Festival at Fair Park.
• Saturday, March 11. St. Pat’s Shotgun Beer Run at Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery.
• Sunday, March 12. Five-Year Anniversary Party at Oak St. Drafthouse.
• Saturday, March 18. Bacon and Beer Classic at The Foundry.
• Saturday, March 18. Local Brews, Local Grooves at House of Blues.
• Saturday, March 25. Four-Year Anniversary at Martin House Brewing Co.
• Friday, March 31-April 2: Big Texas Beer Fest at Fair Park.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
• Collective Brewing Project’s SMaSHY: 9.2
• On Rotation’s Lingonberry Sahti: 9.25.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Small Brewpub’s Black Pepper Pils: 8.5.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Prime Minister: 8.25.
Community’s Texas Helles: 8.
On Rotation’s Moar Blackberry: 8.
Lakewood’s Thread Spinner: 8.
Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit: 8.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
TUPPS Full Grown Man: 7.75.
3 Nations American Wit: 7.75.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Dapper Apple: 7.75.
Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Noble Rey Sex In A Canoe: 7.25.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
3 Nations Mango SMASH IPA: 7.
Legal Draft Chief Justice Stout: 7.
Manhattan Project’s Plutonium-239: 7.
Backcountry’s Texas IPA: 7.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
Three Nations Texas Xmas Hazelnut Ale: 6.5.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Four Corners’ Celebración: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Woodcreek’s Lakeside Cerveza: 5.
Martin House Cuvee Pumpkin Latte: 5.
Intrinsic’s Crunktoberfest: 5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
TUPPS’ Day Off: 4.75.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Audacity’s Checkered Past: 4.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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