6/14/19: Urban Artifact's Missing Linck

2:53 PM

Two weeks ago tomorrow, on June 1st, Urban Artifact held its First Annual Missing Linck Day. I, luckily, had the day off so at around thee o'cock Michelle and I left our house in order to make it to the taproom in time for its release.

Michelle had never been to a release before. Good for her but only okay for me, it wasn't like a typical can release. Instead, it was a mellow affair with no line and no bottleshare. That's fine, for an afternoon release I wasn't expecting the whole nine yards.

I'm happy to say that the release was a good time. But, this post isn't about that. This post is about the beer itself, a seemingly miraculous work wrought by the crafty minds backing Urban Artifact. This post is about a golden ale named Missing Linck.

I know that I only just talked about UA, so I'll keep this short. The brewery, which moved into an old Northside, Cincinnati church in 2014 (according to it's "About" page), has been making sour, wild, and funky beers ever since.

Last year, the brewery published a blog post detailing how Director of Brewing Operations Brett Kollman Baker obtained viable brewing yeast from a 150 plus-year-old brewing vat found in an old, forgotten lagering cellar in downtown Cincinnati. The result of this endeavor is the beer in my can: Missing Linck. The brew (with details pulled from the can itself as well as the beer's Untappd page) is a "Historic Golden Ale" that clocks in at either 5.8 or 6% ABV, depending on which of my two stated sources you're examining.

The ale's bouquet is very crisp on the fore. I get fresh-cut straw, I get very slight pine, and I get some of that bready and bananay yeast--almost Belgian-like--aroma. There's also a layer of funkiness that underscores all of this. I'm finding it difficult to describe this, but it's kind of pungent and dank, like you'd get in a really dank IPA, only more so. "Clay" is also a word that comes to mind here, for whatever reason. Purrl, who couldn't be bothered to move her face closer to my can, gave it a good seven whiffs before licking her chops. Is that a good sign? I'm definitely taking it as one.

There's a lot more going on in the flavor than you might expect from a golden ale. My first sip gave me banana, my second black pepper. Beyond that, it's crisp and clean, malty, toasty, with a slight white-rice flavor (note that I am 100% certain that UA did not use any rice in this, nor do I believe they use such an ingredient in the brewing of any of their beers).

Before getting into that all-important mouthfeel portion of this post, let me say how amazed I am that this Urban Artifact has pulled this off. They made an incredibly drinkable beer from 164-year-old yeast. 

Okay, mouthfeel. Incredibly drinkable is correct. Missing Linck has just the right about of carbonation for a golden ale, and a subtle coating on my cheeks draws me back to the can for another pull.

In the second apartment Michelle and I shared together, we had a pretty sizable yard. Sure, the place was cramped and cold with slanted floors, but that yard was something else. We lived there for a month in mid-spring, and I relished coming home from class each day, grabbing a lawn chair from the porch and lugging it to the backyard.

I'd find some sunny spot amid all the greenery and nestle into a book. Usually, I'd have an open beer on the armrest (which, in retrospect, wasn't a great idea given how flimsy the chair's armrests were). I don't know why but, as I sit on my porch drinking my can of Missing Linck, I find myself yearning for that bright, springtime backyard again.

I'm still astounded with what Urban Artifact has done. Not only is Missing Linck a drinkable beer, it's a highly enjoyable one at that. The fact that the brewery was able to rejuvenate yeast from a century-and-a-half ago to such a phenomenal result pushes this from the 8.5/10 it would've otherwise been (you'll note that it's still a hell of a beer) to an easy 9.5/10.

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