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Wednesday, February 26th 2014
Wild, Sour, and Funky...in a Can
For many years the idea of canning anything other than a widely accepted style was a risk. The possibility of being stuck with tens of thousands of empty cans for a beer that wasn't selling was quite real. Thankfully a lot has changed over the past few years. Craft beer lovers have embraced the can with many barely reacting to a big hoppy Double IPA or a Saison in a can. Can designs have also become more versatile allowing breweries to can small amounts of specialty beers by applying labels to pre-printed cans. Its this combination of factors that has contributed to a huge variety of styles now being canned (over 90 at last count) including styles that pleasure our palates with more unique flavors. We're talking wild ales, sour beers, salty beers, and funky beers. In no particular order we present some great options for anyone interested in the more unconventional side of craft beer. Cheers!
The first Gose in a can. Westbrook Brewing Company introduced their "sour, salty, delicious" Gose in cans last summer. The style, which is brewed using coriander and salt, is extremely refreshing on a hot day and its low ABV makes it a great session brew. If you haven't had a Gose before be sure to read a bit about the history of this style so you have an understanding of why it tastes the way it does - you'll appreciate it more and you might just like it...a lot. If you'd like to know a bit more you can read our REVIEW here.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company has announced plans to release a lineup of session beers called the "128 Session Series". One of those beers, set to be released in the near future, will be a Gose with the name "the Kimmie, the Yink and the Holy GOSE" which translates from the Boontling as the father, the son and the holy Gose. We're looking forward to this one and for Gose as a style to make a big comeback.
Weiss Trash Culture was a limited release from New England Brewing Company. How can you not love the can deisgn? We believe this was the first Berliner Weissbier to be canned here in the US, but this could be up for debate. A very low ABV, a standard with this style, makes this yet another great option for a hot summer day. Hopefully this one will make another appearance in the near future. If it does, just remember that you'll need to supply your own woodruff syrup.
7Venth Sun put out a limited amount of cans of their Wolfman's Berliner late last summer with the help from mobile canners the Craft Beer Crew. Cans apparently went quickly so if you got your hands on some of these count yourself lucky. We're hoping that the brewery puts out more sometime soon so we can give this one a shot. In the meantime you can pick up a pretty awesome looking Wolfman's Berliner shirt from the brewery's online shop!
Sun King Brewing Company continues to showcase examples of just how talented they are when it comes to brewing all different styles of beer. Stupid Sexy Flanders is a great example, a Flanders Oud Bruin style "fermented with wild yeasts, Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces, which impart tart cherry flavors to glance the malt sweetness." This is a complex brew that might just make you realize how far the flavors of beer can reach. If you'd like to know a bit more you can read our REVIEW here.
Ferus Flux, which means "Wild Flow", is a collaboration series between Crooked Stave and various other breweries. This, the first installment in the series, is the end result of Crooked Stave working with Upslope Brewing Company to produce a "wild" version of the latter's Belgian-style Pale Ale. Ths involved barrel-aging the beer in red wine barrels and inoculating it with strains of Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus.
Escoffier was a collaboration between Brewery Vivant and New Belgium Brewing Company. The two breweries took turns brewing the beer at each of their facilities with Brewery Vivant packaging in cans and New Belgium making the beer a part of their Lips of Faith series. This is likely considered to be the first canned American Wild Ale. The name is an homage to French chef, Georges Auguste Escoffier. The brewers used a house yeast from Brewery Vivant for primary fermentation and then aged the beer with a wild yeast from New Belgium called Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. It's dry, it's funky, and it's delicious.
A new release from Brewery Vivant, Le Flaneur Ale takes the complexity of American Wild Ales a bit further by being aged for over a year. "This hopped up Bretta ale is complexity in a glass. Rustic Brettanomyces barnyard funkiness dominates throughout. Back tones of grapefruit, pineapple and a little more funk balance this brew out." Get some if you can...
Tart Side of the Moon is yet another complex original from the folks at Brewery Vivant. This one is big, its brash, and its got a lot going on. From the brewery, "This hearty dark ale is fermented with a blend of two Belgian yeast strains which gives this beer an upfront tartness followed by hints of coffee, dark chocolate, and black cherries. Decadent and delightful, this beer is not for the faint of heart." If you'd like to know a bit more you can read our REVIEW here.
On the way...
A few more beers that are set to be released in cans sometime in the future that fall under the Wild, Sour, and Funky category are:
If we missed any let us know firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Russ
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