My God, this beer smells incredible. It’s so bright and fruity! How distinctively tart, like a field of ripe red raspberries dancing in the cool breeze! The nose on this is so good I could just
Vote for Hillary Clinton.
*9.0 out of 10*
Sour Beer Sunday is Sour Beer Monday in China.
If it’s morning where you are right now, here’s your opportunity for some breakfast beer. The beer is Petrus Oud Bruin, a Flanders Oud Bruin ale from Brouwerij de Brabandere. Have it with some banana bread.
It says ‘the Key to Heaven’ on the bottle. Not sure what they’re talking about. You have to drink a lot of these to go to heaven because it’s only 5.5% ABV.
It’s not super sour, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Like hop bombs in the IPA world, many breweries pump out aggressively sour beers that can often ruin the overall drinking experience. I just happen to believe that other comparable breweries—Rodenbach, Bockor (makers of Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge), and Hanssens—offer some more complex offerings.
It’s a deep, ruby red colored ale. I’d call it translucent, you can see through it if you expose it to the light. It leaves a very pleasant lacing on the glass and it happens to have a nice, rocky, khaki colored head.
It smells of tart cherries, walnuts, and almonds. It’s got an all-around nuttiness going on. I’d also describe it to have an aroma of dark, German-style rye bread with a little spice character. Finally, there’s some red grape in there too, similar to what you’d find in a pinot noir.
There’s a toasted malt character up front. The acidity is medium-light. Notes of plum and tart cherry come about in the middle of the mouth. Then, there are some caramel notes on the back end. The tartness and funk is there, but the microflora are a little in the background with this one.
It has low carbonation and actually has a somewhat thin body.
It’s cheap; it’s satisfactory. If you’re looking for a budget sour, here you go.
I’d pair it with roast turkey—or even what you’d find at a Thanksgiving dinner table. Aged cheddar would be another good choice. Personally, I’d suggest grabbing one of these beers and drinking it with a nice, hot order of America’s family favorite, Dominos Cinna Stix®.
Hey, big guy;
Put on your wayfarers and step out onto the balcony.
Watch the palm trees sway in the wind.
Grab that special someone and enjoy the blazing sunset.
The waves lap against the shore ever so gently.
This calls for a toast;
You grab some refreshments for the both of you.
The lid of the can pops like the sound of a crashing ocean swell.
Clink your glasses, you beautiful people.
The hazy, bright yellow ale shimmers in the waning sunlight.
The aroma of freshly squeezed lemon bursts in the air.
“Wait, babe; grab the camera, the lighting is perfect.
–yeah, get in the picture. Yeah, that’s it. Wait, wait; bend over a little bit.
Oh, yeah, this is such a sexy shot.
Look at the color of this beer! It looks like a glass of frothy lemonade!
God damn, look at this!
–Wait, wait, no—I know, let me just upload this—
Then, suddenly, those clams from dinner finally hit you.
Dizzied, you began to flounder.
“Honey, are you alright? Oh God, hold on!”
Her dulcet tones begin to degrade into a squawk of the most reptilian persuasion.
The roar of high tide folds upon itself, dampened into television static
Even your vision begins to sputter out ants on a sidewalk.
You collapse upon the railing, hanging off the edge of the precipice.
The vomit begins to stream from your lips, your nostrils.
Your paramour arrives with a hot towel and words of comfort.
It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault
In your moment of abject embarrassment and misery, it hits you–
Westbrook Brewing: providing the official beer of mustachioed beer hipsters everywhere!
Your life is a lie.
*9.0 out of 10*
Ok, ok, so, doing this new thing. Bobcat started this whole thing, a while back, when he bought some Backacre Sour Golden Ale– I don’t know, probably a few winters ago– and we shared it while listening to the excruciatingly experimental music of Tim Hecker—more on that in a bit. Anyway, this thing seemed to happen more and more every Sunday afternoon until Bobcat got sick of beer, got that swanky bartending job and now just slams back daiquiris and that foofy shit. Typical.
Anyway, I’m just fucking sitting here, in my underwear, watching Friends and drinking some dope ass beer—by myself– per my usual “Sunday tradition.”
But that’s really beside the point.
The beer is great. It’s just the right combination of citrus and betrayal—
Really bright notes of lemon and pineapple on the nose—
Moreover, the brettanomyces character is not too overpowering on the palate.
It’s dry, tropical, and the earthy essence of the oak really helps bring it all together.
There’s hardly any hop bitterness at all.
I’m certainly not bitter about anything.
It’s Crooked Stave’s seasonal “St. Bretta” summer seasonal release: a sour witbier brewed with pomelo citrus fruit. Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is a brewing company out of Denver, Colorado that specialized in sour ales and American wild ales, exclusively.
This is a beer that pairs well with earthy and umami flavors. Soft, washed rind cheeses and this fantastic Portobello mushroom ravioli, which I slaved over for an hour-and-a-half for no one but my goddamned self, would go well with this beer.
It’s light, crisp, and cuts through rich foods wonderfully.
Anyway, I’m going to be doing these little “Sour Beer Sunday” postings, hopefully every Sunday—BY MYSELF
I also expect to bring back that craft beer/junk food pairing thing, for shits and giggles
But mostly shits
Lastly, going back to Tim Hecker—
First, if you don’t know who he is, look him up on Google, or something, and educate yourself. Dude’s mad talented.
Second, craft beer/music pairings are on the way too. Yes, you read correctly. I’m giving into my self-indulgent, geeky tendencies to provide you what I can only assume will be the lamest shit you read on a maybe-monthly basis.
Other things may be coming down the tube too, but for now, I’m going to let resentment get the best of me while I spiral into a fitful sleep.
Happy Labor Day!
Toiling beneath the unforgiving sun, we languished in the fields. Not a damned one of us would dare ask for reprieve, complain, or even ask how long until the day was done. Bound to the soil, we picked until our fingertips became as numb as the earth below us. Stained and embarrassed, we hunched in our anonymity until we were addressed, accordingly.
Luckily, I was pretty much ignored, like that kid in phys. ed. who wanders around in the field grasping at his crotch like a safety blanket, hoping not to be found, while coach skirts by with a ‘participation’ grade as not to upset the parents…
We thankless souls picked
Lord, my thighs were confessing the next morning.
50 Hail Maries did they pray, you bitch!
Toil did we do, though, every last one of us.
Picking the yellow stuff, all hoped not to get whipped.
–but if Shaun Hill whipped any of us,
It’d probably turn into some sort of masochistic orgy
Moreover, God knows NO work would have gotten done.
Thank God for Søren Kierkegaard and the virtue of a limp dick.
Vera Mae has a special place in my plaque-encrusted heart. 2013 seems long ago, but I can recall that day every time I release the cap from this beer.
I remember how much Mr. Hill talked about himself.
I remember how much we 10 of us didn’t pick that day. Four or five large trash bags, and we still didn’t bring in quite enough.
The disappointment of father in son.
I told you, brain surgeon, not plastic surgeon!
—But I didn’t care
Hands caked in vermilion, windows down, the wind rushed through as I broke my own.
“I feel like Justin Vernon,” I mumbled, half-drunkenly to Derek in the driver’s seat.
He laughed obligingly.
I couldn’t squat for the next week.
It’s a beautiful, yet constipated time of the year.
The harvest is yet upon us, and no clearer is that for me than with the release of Hill Farmstead’s Vera Mae.
A rustic saison, brewed with dandelion, Vera Mae is an instant late summer classic.
Every time I pry off its cap, I remember what a little bitch I was that day. Every time I gaze upon its lemonade-yellow hue, I remember complaining about how hot it was.
Fizzy, frothy white head.
Away from the light, hints of gold and orange curve around the edges. Exposed to the light, slight chartreuse emerges on the surface. Hazy as fuck, bright and beautiful, I remember taking intermittent breaks while everyone else picked along.
Every time I inhale and am greeted by that floral and oak character, I remember that one guy who wouldn ‘t shut the fuck up about how much he appreciated previous vintages and other collaborative works with other well-established breweries and—oh yeah—how they’re all just great, too.
Honey and beeswax.
Every time I taste that lemon-like acidity, I remember that attractive, somewhat older woman with the dope dog, and I get distracted; I was distracted then, too. I didn’t do much work. Long and lean, she had a somewhat regal character about her. I like to think that Shaun Hill’s late, great-aunt—the name sake for this saison—was like this too. However, I don’t want to give the impression that I have the hots for one of Mr. Hill’s ancestors. I don’t. You know what I mean.
You can’t misconstrue that.
I mean, like, regal like a Rolls Royce. You wouldn’t fuck a Rolls Royce, would you? I mean, you wouldn’t actually have sex with a car, right?
Do you know what I mean?
…Seriously, I mean no disrespect. I’m sure Vera Mae was a really beautiful woman, and I’m sure her husband was really glad to have all that, and shit – Not that the rest of Mr. Hill’s relatives weren’t likely beautiful in their own way. I mean, I don’t want to show any preference here.
Shaun’s a good lookin’ guy. I’m not physically attracted to him. No, not like that.
He’s not a car. I’m sure he’s doing fine. Lactobacillus* character bursts forth in the middle of the mouth. Strangely, a drier, saltier, lemon-lime Gatorade comes to mind here, as well. Then comes the oak. In a bizarre way, I a lemon sherbet or some sort of lemon frozen yogurt. Bitterness from the dandelion comes out towards the end with a strong herbal, earthy, green, vegetal kick. Some fruity esters follow, ending with that classic coconut character that comes from lactobacillus.
Mouthfeel has medium to strong acids, a yeast bite, drying astringency and a tart, clean finish.
It’s not a sex thing.
*9.2 out of 10*
*A lactic acid bacteria (as is capable of converting lactose into lactic acid), particularly harmless to humans, used to intentionally sour ales. Mostly of the L. Casei or L. Brevis varieties. Hey, fun fact: Lactobacilli are also found predominantly in intestines and vaginas. Bottoms up!