If you haven’t noticed, sour ales are something we have been toying with over the past couple of years. I have been brewing them since 2014 but Mike had his first attempts late last year. We taste a couple of his finished beers in this video. He has one that he called a Golden Sour beer and another one that he added fruit to for a secondary fermentation. We do talk about the Golden a bit, because it is the base beer, but this video shows us tasting a sour ale with added cherries in it and the difference between the two beers is pretty substantial.
A Tale of Two Beers
At this tasting, the beer had changed. It now had a lingering aftertaste, which had notes of unpopped popcorn kernels and celery seed. I didn’t think it was pleasant and Mike agreed, even if he was going to finish what was left.
With this new flavor profile, you could see why the decision to add fruit just to see what effect it would have on the beer was made.
Cherries to the Rescue
Mike added black and sour cherries to his beer and it started up a second fermentation. It didn’t foam up like it did during the primary one, bit it bubbled enough to indicate that the yeast and the bugs had taken notice.
After two an a half months, Mike tried it and was blown away. Any of the linger aftertastes that the base beer had was removed, scrubbed out by the second fermentation. The resulting Kriek was very quaffable and well balanced between sour and fruity. It was way better than other commercial examples that I have had of it.
What’s next? Mike has put beer into competition and we await the results. It will be cool to see what others think about it.