It's time to get your freak on. Your Sour freak on, that is. It's like Parliament P-Funk time. For those of you that have not yet joined the Sour Funk Force, I extend this gracious invitation. Not ready yet? See you next post. For those in the crew, read on and let your mouth water....
BEER & BREWERY #39
The Bruery Oude Tart (Flanders Red), 7.5% ABV: I labored and LABORED over which beer I would select from one of my favorite breweries in the country. The Melange No. 3, the Oude Tart, or the mind-blowing Barrel-Aged Coton????
But because this is undoubtedly one of my favorite American Sours ever, I knew it was time to give Oude Tart its well deserved spotlight. But don't worry, reviews of the Melange, and let me repeat, MIND-BLOWING Barrel-Aged Coton are coming....
There is a reason Oude Tart won GOLD at this year's GABF for Belgian Style Lambic or Sour Ale. It's simply divine. Aged 18 months in red wine barrels, and it shows. Incredible aromas of toasty oak, sour cherry and red currant, a touch of fermented raspberry, barn wood planks, and a bit of earthy funk. The flavors are a marvelous amalgamation of aromas and a perfectly pitched sourness. This beer is truly a work of beer art.
Located in Placentia, California, The Bruery is the brilliant brainchild of homebrewer Patrick Rue, who I had the pleasure of meeting briefly at GABF. Brewing the purest of beers, with no filtering or pasteurizing, and 100% bottle-conditioning, The Bruery makes some of the finest beers out there. Seriously people, you HAVE to get your hands on their brews. My highest recommendations include: Saison Rue, Autumn Maple, Two Turtle Doves, Oude Tart, and the earth-shattering Black Tuesday. You will be thanking me exponentially.
CLICK HERE to read about my trip to The Bruery after meeting the incredible Anat Baron of BEER WARS!
BEER & BREWERY #38
Alpine Ned Flanders Red, 5.17% ABV: This barrel-aged sour has been on my "Must Try" list since I first heard of its release earlier this year. So when I attended a tasting recently and this was on deck, a wide smile spread across my face. Started in 2002, Alpine has quickly become a hophead favorite in Southern California.
While I am a HUGE fan of Alpine's delicious mastery of the hop, and I could drink their Mandarin Nectar until the cows come home, I decided to review their sour for this challenge. It's an interesting direction for this brewery, and I am happy to explore it.
But NEVER FEAR, their beers will be featured more than once in my spring 100 beers. 30 days. challenge... 100 Pale Ales and IPA's!!! Stay tuned.
On the nose, apple cider vinegar, woody oak, dried red apple, and a very mild cherry note. There is a slightly metallic element on the nose and palate that throws me off for a moment, but luckily it fades out. I had heard from other Sour lovers that this offering was rather mild and needed more punch. I concur completely. This was a pleasant sour that was enjoyed by all in the tasting group, but I do wish there had been more. More sour, more red fruit.
Also STAY TUNED for a full Brewery feature of Alpine for the Ladies of Craft Beer website and this blog later this month. And I WILL be leaving with growlers!
BEER & BREWERY #37
Ommegang Zuur (Flanders Oud Bruin), 6% ABV: We all got a chuckle when we saw the cork come out. (See picture) Someone said, "It's cold inside the bottle!", while another exclaimed, "Shrinkage!" It was good to hear their minds were just as far in the gutter as mine.
Ok, on to business. Zuur is Ommegang's newest collaboration beer, produced in conjunction with the famous Belgian brewery, Liefmans.
Brown sugar cookies, toast, caramel, and dried fig and date on the nose. Aromas follow through on the palate, with notes of oak and a mild sourness. In true Oud Bruin style, this beer is less sour than a Flanders Red style, and possesses more caramel and malt character. However, in this case, it was more sour than the Alpine Ned. Oh well. A balanced beer, the group enjoyed this, particularly as a palate cleanser to the Founders KBS and the Ballast Point Victory at Sea heavy hitters!
Located in Cooperstown, NY, Ommegang is a brewery producing 12 ales, all in homage to a Belgian-style brewing sensibility. From their beginnings in 1997, the brewery has produced 5 award-winning beers, and continue to make some of the most interesting, authentic, and true-to-style beers out there. I am constantly impressed by their offerings, including their Abbey Ale, Hennepin, and Three Philosophers. Rock on Ommegang. That name does sound like a rock band, by the way...
Until next time,
Turn up the radio, uncork a Sour, and raise a glass to the Funk.