Profiled by Maria Devan
Pours golden yellow with a white head.
Nose is citrusy, sweet and floral. Comes together on the palate like a spiked lemony sugar cookie blast with a strong bitter to finish it.
Forceful and well made.
I paired this with two dishes. A light salad with apples and a lemon dressing and some home made breaded chicken with a sweet chili and lime dipping sauce.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
Maria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY, is a great beer writer, rides elephants on roller skates from atop the hill where she lives and should be a beer judge. That last part is true, the one before: NOT.
A relatively new method of brewing called Kettle Souring is making sour beer cheap and affordable for breweries and consumers. Kettle soured beer has joined the mainstays with early examples like Bend Brewing’s Ching Ching to more recent hits like The Commons Myrtle and Biere Royale, Anderson Valley’s Gose, Breakside’s La Tormenta and many more making sours more approachable than ever.
Sour beer (more a descriptor than a style) has been one of the hottest trends in American craft brewing for some time now but the time, costliness and margin of error due to inexperience set the bar very high. Where classic sour styles like Lambic would take a year or more to develop in Belgium and then under ideal conditions where everything from the dust and cobwebs of an old brewery to the microbes and bacteria in the breeze coming off the fields was conducive to the style. American brewing had been more influenced by German industrial brewing practices than anyone where the emphasis is on producing clean, technically efficient beer with traditional ingredients in shorter periods of time was the goal. So most American breweries were unequipped to capture spontaneous yeast and bacteria in the air or to let a risky souring project sit in oak barrels for a year that may turn out badly. Even with the ideal conditions for mixed wild/sour fermentation, brewers are afraid of their brewhouse being infected by these bugs that could then cause off flavors in all beer, even those not meant to be soured. Now a new method called Kettle Souring is becoming one of the trendiest methods for brewers to bring their beers down to a low PH in a matter of days and without the risk of cross contamination. This method has made recent beers like Anderson Valley’s Blood Orange Gose and Breakside Brewery’s Passionfruit Sour affordable and in large quantities at major grocery outlets for the first time.
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Beer Term ‘O the Day: Chill haze. a haziness in beer caused by the precipitate formed when a beer is refrigerated. Many homebrewers let the boiling wort cool overnight in a sealed, sanitized container, then pitch yeast the next day. When this is done, the beer will always have a chill haze because the haze-forming compounds will have remained in solution. A good rule is to boil it as hard as you can, then chill it as quickly as you can. That and the use of a fining, like Irish moss, will get the proteins and tannins to drop out in the brew kettle.
James Visger lives in Clarksville, TN. He’s a BJCP beer judge and president of The Clarksville Carboys. His wife’s name is Jami. We have no idea what the name of the gerbil is who has been stalking him.