It’s election night in America, and like many others, I’ve decided to drink while I watch the election results. Despite the fact that our country is deeply divided, I hope we can all come together and enjoy a drink together soon. As I’m planning to do for many of the remaining 45 beers I have left remaining in my quest to 1000 beers (or at least 1000 beer reviews, since according to my Untappd, I’ve had over 2000 different beers), I enjoyed something special. This beer was a Christmas present from my dad a couple years ago. Even though I’m from St. Louis, it’s still very hard to get a beer from this well-known, barrel aging craft brewery. Therefore, I was excited when my dad was able to procure a bottle for me. It says it’s a “Missouri Sour Brown that was cofermented with crabapples from the Angry Orchard innovation cider house in Walden New York. We brewed this beer with our great and long time friend Ryan Burk, the head cidermaker at Angry Orchard, before racking it to French Oak Puncheons to age a year before being bottled and naturally conditioned.”
Location: Poured into a snifter style glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 6% ABV, ~200 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s a dark brown color that appeared to be quite hazy when I held it up to the light. It has a lot of carbonation in it (which I noticed my glass must not be super clean), which gave it a big, rocky white head that fell within seconds to nothing. It has a dark fruit aroma, which I can only describe as a classic Flanders smell.
Taste & Feel: It has a light-medium body, and the mouthfeel is quite crisp from both the carbonation and the acidity of this beer. There’s an obvious acidity and a dark fruit sweet-tartness on the front-end of this beer. In the middle, the sweetness shines a bit more with the dark fruit, but the tartness of this beer quickly jumps in before the finish – which is dry and tart with some dark and stone fruit type flavors. The tartness is what lasts for a minute or two in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: Given the acidity of this beer, I’d probably try to tame it a bit with something savory. Given the dark fruit flavors, I’d probably pair it with a burger, but I could also see it going great with a steak or something else that substantial and has a good savory-salty mix.
Overall Impression: I’m not a huge fan of sour beers, but I do enjoy the occasional one if I know what to expect. This was listed as a Flanders Oud Bruin style, and it definitely hit the mark. Even after a couple years of aging in the bottle – despite it’s only 6% ABV – it (in my opinion) perfectly nailed the style. It’s like a wonderfully flavored sweet-tart, and while I enjoyed the flavor, I’m not sure it’s a beer I’d have more than one of. I’ve heard great things about Side Project beers, and this beer is definitely on point. I’m looking forward to trying a couple more of their beers that I currently have in the cellar, and hopefully I can pick up more on my next trip to St. Louis.