During the Bruegala beer festival, they had a few special release beers, which were a few somewhat hard to get a hold of bottles. This one was one of those beers. My experiences with sour beers has been mixed, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but figured that since it was one of the featured beers, I’d give it a try.
Location: Enjoyed a 3oz sample, in a sampling glass, at Bruegala in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 6.5% ABV, ~ 205 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It was fairly clear and had an amber, slightly orange tint. The head was very thin and had soapy-looking bubbles in it. The aroma was an interesting mix of fruitiness, maltiness, and slight funkiness.
Taste & Feel: It was somewhat light and crisp, starting off fairly dry. After a quick taste of sweet maltiness, the tart sour flavor kicks in. The tartness increased in intensity through the finish, but wasn’t too overwhelming. The sourness had a hint of an apple cider sourness and crispness to it, and it finished pretty clean and dry.
Food Pairing: I would pair this beer with dessert. The sour tartness and slight cider flavors left me feeling like this would a very good pairing with something like apple pie. The crisp crust on the pie would help to cut on the sourness a bit, but would mix nicely with the sweetness from the fruit.
Overall Impression: I’m usually a little hesitant to try sour beers, since I often feel like the brew just throws it in a barrel, prays, and then tries to convince you it tastes good when it comes out. However, I felt like this beer tasted just like it’s supposed to. From my experience with sours (which is admittedly very limited), I felt like this had a texbook brettanomyces, yet it wasn’t overwhelming. I felt like there was still a decent sweet malt character to it, and I liked the crisp, clean, dry finish. Overall, I fell like it was a good beer that I would break out to show others what a sour beer tastes like.