Monday, October 26, 2015

Sours Dominate Last Week's Beer In Review

Last week seemed like a good time to clean out the beer refrigerator as some of the bottles were starting to collect dust. I started this cleansing with the Mad Fox Brewing Company Oaked Diabolic Ale, my favorite beer from the Virginia brewery. It is a Belgium strong ale, fermented with native yeast and aged in used oak barrels. And some strain of bacteria makes its presence known with the tart and funky flavors. There's also a creamy texture more associated with wine than beer.  Limited qualities are popping up at my local Wholefoods.

Last Spring I visited Atlas Brew Works and fell in love with their Town and Country Belgium Dark Strong Ale and the La Saison des Fêtes Farmhouse Ale. The former was received quite nicely at #WBC15 with it's wine like characters. On the other hand, the later is all sour - tart and funky with  subtle spice. I'll be headed back to the brewery when the nice iteration of brewing commences for this seasonal.

I usually have an Anderson Valley Brewing Company Gose readily available, either their The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose or the Blood Orange Gose. The later is my all-time favorite in this style where the addition of blood oranges during fermentation leads to a delicious combination of citrus, salt, and tartness. The wort for both beers are soured with lactobacillus and salt added post fermentation. The Holy Gose is more readily available and more lemon flavor, effervescent and just as refreshing.

I've been following the New Belgium Brewing Company Le Terrior series and finally got around to buying their 2015 Le Terroir Dry Hopped Sour Ale. The base Le Terrior beer is aged three years in larger wooden  foeders with this version dry hopped with Amarillo and Galaxy. The beer starts out full of flavor with subtle tartness and at this point is delicious. However, when the hops enter the palate during the tail, they detract from the savory flavors.

Finally, I stopped by Caboose Brewing Company after a lunchtime bike ride and was excited to see their The Zoo Berliner Weisse still available. Can you see the sour inclination? Perfect for a post ride refreshment. They were also pouring a very nice Chocolaty Brown Ale on cask, which is their traditional brown ale brewed with chocolate bits. Getting close to Porter territory; it was medium bodied and very smooth.

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