A Quart of Ale± #21
Moving on over to craft.
So, what is a sour? It is perhaps the style of beer most likely to put someone off with a single sip. But, according to Craft Beer for the People, “they are hugely rewarding for those who can get past the initial shock.” Think of lemons, sauerkraut, pickles and Citron Pressé (the French non-alcoholic thirst quencher) as that essential first step. “Once you gain a taste for them (sours)…. there’s no going back!” And I can tell you, hand on heart, that the conversion can come as early as the third sip. Stick with it and try some of the beers below - you won’t be sorry!
Crooked Stave “Sour Rosé” 4.5%, 355ml can Bradley’s of Cork
Colour is a deep pink that in some lighting might pass for orange; it is cloudy, with lots of bubbles rising; the head doesn't hang about. Fruit plus yeast notes in the aromas. Refreshing and effervescent on the palate, this is the most delicious sour, ideal for a summer’s day in the garden with a salad at hand, perhaps one with fish. Yet, as they suggest, it’s probably perfect for all seasons. Just a few sips in and I’m delighted with this one which is going to be hard to top in this section. Put it on your short list.
The American brewery says: Showcasing bright effervescent characteristics, Sour Rosé is the perfect sour beer for all seasons and occasions. Unfiltered and naturally wild, we package each can with a small amount of yeast to maintain maximum freshness for wherever life’s adventures take you.
- Serving Temperature: 8-12 degrees
- Alc/Vol: 4.5%
- Cultured in Yeast
Cheese, Jasper Hill Cellars Harbison with Washed-rind;
Chicken Liver Mouse & Pancetta;
Ceviche with Raw Fish and Shrimp, Aji, Onion, Salt and Cilantro, all Cured in Citrus Juice
Saltimbocca with Veal lined Prosciutto & Basil
Kinnegar “Olan’s Tart” Apple Sour 5.0%, 440ml can Bradley’s of Cork
This unfiltered, naturally carbonated Apple sour from Donegal’s Kinnegar Brewery looks a little like a cloudy pale apple juice once the short-lived head vanishes. I was expecting more of a crab apple but, while certainly sour, this, one of the better Irish sours, is very drinkable indeed, quite refreshing too.
The style is “Kettle sour with apple” and it tastes clean and crisp. It is labelled as ”a year-round reminder of summer” and is “fermented with freshly pressed apple juice from our friends at Dan Kellys Cider.”
They say: A bunch of rabbits and their mates having the craic and making good beer Yep, that's pretty much our branding in a nutshell. A big thanks to one of our twitter fans for putting it so simply and succinctly. Nothing in life is however quite that simple…..
Yellow Belly Castaway Passionfruit Sour 4.2%, 440ml can, Bradley’s
Yellow Belly like their sours, so be prepared!
Cloudy light amber is the colour. Not so much fruit in the aromas; yeast seems to be the main element. Once it reaches the palate though, the face puckers as promised and the Belgian malts, aided by the passionfruit sweetness, begin to calm it all down a bit. Just a little bit! This is after all a sour, and a pretty good one at that. Quite a thirst-quencher!
They say: The perfect sour. Our house Berliner Weisse recipe (soured with our, continuously evolving, barrel stored lactobacillus culture) conditioned on a small tropical islands worth of passionfruit. Expect a lovely fruity aroma, more fruit on the tongue, and even more fruit on the finish all rounded with a gentle acidity from the souring process. Brewed with only the finest Belgian malts and our House Lactobacillus Culture under the careful watch of our Head Brewer, Declan Nixon.
It is a seasonal beer – mostly found during the Summer months, but from time to time as a limited release. It is unfiltered and not pasteurised.
All the artwork you see across their Tap Badges and Cans features their fictional hero ‘YellowBelly’. He’s the “Dr. Who” of Beer; travelling through time and space to find new recipes, discover ingredients and to fight the bad guys trying to destroy good beer. Creative Director, Paul Reck, creates all the artwork and is the mastermind behind the ‘YellowBelly Tales’ Comic Book Series, which can read for free on the site.
Lervig “Passion Tang” 7%, 330ml can Bradley’s of Cork
The eye-catching can pours an orange and gold colour while this Norwegian sour holds its head just for a few seconds. Mainly fruity aromas. And the Passionfruit is your main man on the tangy palate. Perhaps not as sour as some or perhaps I’m getting used to the style. Either way, not quite on the same level as the Crooked Stave. Easy enough to forget, with all that Passionfruit, that this is 7% abv.
Lervig is an independently owned and operated craft brewery located in Stavanger, Norway. They produce a wide range of beers from easy-drinking pilsners and pale ales to bold and complex barrel-aged stouts, barley wines, and sours.
They say: We fermented an oat rich sour ale with our house ale yeast, then add brettanomyces trois in the secondary fermentation along with passion fruit. Grains of paradise were also into the mix, giving this beer a tropical, floral yet woody character. This beer bridges with those who don’t really like beer to craft beer.
Malts: Pale, Munich, Caramalt.
Hops: Ella, Victoria Secret.
Yeast: American Ale, Brettanomyces
Additive: Grains of Paradise.
Passionfruit extract also listed in ingredients.