Craft Beer Takes a Sour Turn at SAVOR Festival

SAVOR attendees left with a sample of Terra Incognita, a collaborative beer that underwent a second fermentation in the bottle. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)


Written by Greg Kitsock for The Washington Post

SAVOR weekin Washington left a sour taste in my mouth — in a good way.

The most memorable beers were, tart, acidic and refreshing, or complex, earthy and mouth-puckering. Let’s start with Terra Incognita, the collaboration that Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Boulevard Brewing Co. whipped up expressly for this year’s beer-and-food festival, held June 8 and 9 at the National Building Museum.

Sierra Nevada cooked up the wort, then shipped the unfermented beer to Boulevard in Kansas City, reversing the path of the 19th-century pioneers who followed the California Trail to the American West.

At Boulevard, the wort was fermented and siphoned into 21 barrels, some of which held wine or bourbon, some freshly fashioned out of new oak. After two months, all were sampled, and the contents of 12 were deemed suitable for the blend. As a final flourish, the brewers added a dash of the wild yeast Brettanomyces to spark a new fermentation in the bottle.

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