Pilot Series: Berry Sour

Pilot Series: Berry Sour

Berry Sour

The American-style sour is relatively new to the world of craft beer, and many American sours are inspired by traditional Belgian lambic, gose, and other farmhouse styles, although new souring techniques can also be found in rotation. Ultimately, brewers are looking for balanced acidity and harmonious complexity when brewing this style.

 

Flavor

This moderately dry sour beer has medium clarity and is deep gold and pink in color. The flavor and aroma are clean with moderate tartness from lactobacillus. Subtle malt character provides light bready notes, while hop perception is very low, with a hint of earthiness. The cranberries give this beer a fruity flavor and add to the tart quality.

Ingredients

Alaskan Berry Sour is made from glacier-fed water and features pilsner and wheat malts, nugget hops and cranberries.

Specifications

  • Original Gravity: 1.060
  • Bitterness: 4 IBUs
  • Alcohol (by vol): 7.5%
  • Color: 8 SRM

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History

Long before the age of refrigeration and pasteurization, most beers were sour to some degree, with tart and funky
flavors stemming from naturally-occurring bacteria and wild yeast. However, as Belgian monks began to elevate the brewing process to the art form that it is recognized as today, they began to deliberately sour their beers, purposefully adding bacteria or wild yeast to their beer prior to cellaring, to produce ever-more mouth-puckering styles. Reproducing Belgian styles, American craft brewers later discovered, is an unpredictable and lengthy process, which requires separate brewing equipment. Instead, a technique called kettle souring has caught on across America, making sours more predictable and less time consuming to produce. When brewing kettle-soured beers, brewers add microbes before the beer is fermented, as opposed to during or after fermentation in the traditional souring process. Kettle sours have a signature clean, moderately tart aroma and flavor.

The Story Behind the Label

The rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) has the longest range of any hummingbird found in the United States with migration routes of nearly 4,000 miles one-way! It is the northernmost ranging hummingbird in the world, returning not only to the same areas across Alaska each summer, but to the exact same flowering bushes, wildflower meadows, and feeders. As it flits from flower to flower, pausing to sip from the nectar of each flower, the rufous assists in the pollination of many wild Alaskan flowers and shrubs, including the highbush cranberry – the inspiration for this beer.