BEER REVIEW: Don’t be bitter about sours
A GROWING number of brewers are sweet on the idea of releasing sour beers and while they may not be to everyone's taste, there is a definite market for them.
From Jetty Road Brewery on the Mornington Peninsula comes Blueberry Gose, an interest sour which as the name suggests features a healthy amount of berry to the flavour.
Yes this is a sour beer but not one which will have you wincing at the tart nature.
If fact, it is a well-balanced beer combing the fruitiness of berries with just enough 'sourness' to make it refreshing and thirst quenching on a hot day.
Some sours tend to go overboard and are just too bitter for their own good but Blueberry Gose retains the essential elements of being from the wheat beer to make it appealing to those looking for something a little outside the square.
It has a dark almost copper colour with a tight white head and a fruity berry nose with a very subtle sour note.
The first mouthful delivers plenty of flavour, - sour but not overwhelming and this gives way to a distinct berry fruitiness that doesn't mask the fact this is beer.
The wheat beer bitterness comes through leaving the palate and combined, adds to the sessionability of this drop.
The is a full strength beer at 4.2 per cent and doesn't sit heavily in the gut, nor is it a brew that you soon tire off if you start on it.
I have always held the theory that with sour beers, you truly gain an appreciation of them after the third mouthful. By then you will either like it or hate it.
Sours are an acquired taste, surprisingly proving increasingly popular with female drinkers who aren't that impressed with the standard beer flavour.
I think this would go well with a salsa dip or cheese and fruit platter.
Serve cold but you might even let this sit for a little while to enhance the flavour experience (but not too long). Serve in a tulip shape glass to appreciate the nose. At around xxxx per 375ml four pack, it's worth a try.
FROM Brisbane brewer Green Beacon, comes 7 Bells Passionfruit Sour, yet another newcomer to this growing sector.
Now while you might think that these types of beers are just flavour injected wastes of time, when a brewer does a sour well, they are very appealing and Green Beacon has done just that.
This sour, as the name suggests, has a cloudy pale yellow appearance with a tight white head and a very subtle passionfruit nose.
You can pick up a hint of sour in the aroma but it's not until you taste it that it lives up to its name.
Yes it is sour but the passionfruit side of things isn't pronounced and while you can pick up that element of flavour in the brew, there remains a healthy degree of bitterness in the aftertaste to make it clear this is still a beer.
In fact, after a few mouthfuls (a requirement for sour beers), I found it to be very moresish and a great thirst quencher on a hot day.
It has a crispness to it was, very cleansing and didn't sit heavily in the gut at all considering it is a full strength beer at 4.2 per cent.
As I have previously said, sour beers aren't everybody's cup of tea (so to speak) and purists or those who just can't handle fruity brews, this won't be on the must have list but for those who aren't fans of the traditional beer flavour, this is definitely worthy trying.
Don't expect a passionfruit explosion but rather a satisfyingly refreshing brew, especially when the weather is warm.
It would go well with a spicy mixed salad, a good sweet curry or even some decent fish an chips.
Seve cold but not chilled in a tall pilsner glass. Again, as it warms slightly, the character changes slightly with the passionfruit side of things coming a little more pronounced (but not too much). At around $17 a 375ml four pack at Dans, it's pretty good value as well.