From Field House Brewing in Abbotsford comes their “Fresh Hop Sartori Sour IPA”. This weird and wonderful brew pours a weird brownish copper colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of floral and herbal hops with some sweetness and a definite sour note. The flavour is of sourness, toffee, sweetness with grassy, herbal hops with earth and a medium bitterness in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 30. This beer is more sour ale than IPA for sure but it is a fun brew and I am glad that I got the chance to try it this year. I hope you do too!
Commercial Description: Our hands harvested these columbia hop cones straight from the Sartori Hop Ranch in the beautiful Columbia Valley. These fresh hops met our sour red IPA, infusing this once-a-year brew with fresh green earthy flavours. Herbal notes meet fruity melon and tangy citrus, all nestled in a tart IPA.
From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “Gruit (Traditional Medieval Ale)”. The beer pours a deep brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of lots of different spices and a sweetness but I can not really differentiate what is what. The flavour is of a mixture of spices, sweet caramel, some sourness and lots of fruit notes. The alcohol content comes in at 8%. I will admit the first time I had this beer when it was still fresh I was not a huge fan but this bottle has really mellowed out and I quite enjoyed it. I will also admit I enjoy very few Gruits as I am not a big fan of most of spice combinations they use.
Commercial Description: Definitely not for everyone this ancient ale is sour and less carbonated than anything we drink today. The recipe is from the Middle Ages and the herbs used to make it were used before hops were discovered. Flavoured with things like mugwort, yarrow, meadowsweet, heather tips, and fermented with some brettanomyces this is definitely a strange taste experience and not for the wary. It’s bottle conditioning and best when aged so putting it away to cellar will vastly improve its taste and carbonation.
From Strange Fellows Brewing in Vancouver comes their second beer in their fellowship club the “Fellowship Little Red One”. These beers are only available to people that bought into the club and was the second of 4 releases. The beer pours a deep red colour with a lighter red head. The aroma consists of black currents, wood and a sour finish. The flavour is of black currents, cherries, sweetness, jam, red wine, oak, tannins and lots of sour notes. The alcohol content comes in at 5.6%. This second release was exactly what I was hoping for. A great sour beer coming from a brewer that knows his stuff!
Commercial Description: This West Coast Sour with black currants from the Fraser Valley, has been barrel-aged for over a year and is partially bottle conditioned. The currants lend berry character but with a dry herbal note (rather than sweetness) – kind of like walking on ground cover herbs on a very hot, dry summer day. There are aromas and flavours of oak, black tea, and tobacco. This complex beer should be drunk above fridge temperature, and since it’s partially bottle-conditioned, it is best to decant off the sediment that sits at the bottom of the bottle.
I have heard rumors of Jester King Brewery out of Texas but had never had one of their beers until now. My first brew of theirs was the “Black Metal (Farmhouse Imperial Stout)” a Sour Imperial Stout named after one of my favourite styles of Metal! The beer pours a deep opaque black with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, chocolate, anise, mild coffee with some milky qualities. The flavour is of tart lemon, balsamic sourness, burnt malts, chocolate, coffee, earth, ash, anise and some farmhouse notes in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 9.1%. This bottle was from batch #16 with a bottling date of 3, 25, 2015. Sour stouts are still a bit foreign to me but being a fan of both sour beers and stouts I was able to really enjoy both aspects of this beer. I look forward to trying out more beer in the Jester King lineup if I can work on trading for bottles in the future.
Commercial Description: “It is certain that the introduction of pure yeasts into industrial fermentation does not constitute the crowning achievement of a system that is henceforth immutable. It seems, for example, that if the application of the pure cultures method has improved the average quality of the beer, if it has decreased the chances of infection, it has given us beer with less character than before.” – 20th century Belgian Brewing Scientist Marc H. Van Laer
From Richmond BC’s Big River Brewing Company located inside the Zone Bowling Centre comes their “Acid Trip Soured Wheat Ale”. Relatively recently there was a shakeup at the Brewpub and there was a new brew master that took over. His name is Bill and he is changing this up with the beer lineup. The Acid Trip pours a cloudy orange, straw colour with a white head. The aroma consists of mild tartness, wheat, yeast and some spices. The flavour is of mild lactic acid sourness, wheat, yeast, citrusy lemon and pineapple. The alcohol content comes in at 3.4% with an IBU of 3. I am quite pleased with this beer as I am a massive sour beer fan and I also love a good sessionable ale. You couldn’t go wrong grabbing a pint of this or a growler fill either!
Commercial Description: Fermented with lactic acid producing bacteria to be assertively sour, yet refreshingly light. With hints of lemon and pienapple, this beer is fabulous with food and does not compete with your palette.