beer review! : Crooked Stave Nightmare on Brett

the last of the three sours i got today! one and two can be found here. this one is dark and spOoOoOoky and exactly everything i love.

from Crooked Stave in Colorado, the bottle describes it as

A demonic dark sour, Nightmare on Brett takes on many facets during its transformation to the sour side. Dominated by dark fruit aromas and flavors, the underlying cacao notes meld with an acidic tart berry finish.

it’s seriously dark with a slight head. it poured very silkily which might explain the (lack of) head and i don’t expect a lot of effervescence from it.

slight coffee notes on the nose followed by dark fruit sweetness and then a nice, full sourness to round it out. this is a very lovely, rich beer that feels appropriately late summer/early fall, and it would even work very well for a winter solstice celebration. i can imagine biting into some ripe blackberries every time i take a sip. i think on the whole this might be my favorite sour of the day, even though the other two were still very tasty and interesting. this one just hits all the various notes i like i guess. i’m very happy 🙂


beer review! : Brooklyn Brewery Kiwi’s Playhouse

sour number two! this one’s got kiwi! (my review of sour number one is here)

here’s the whole description from Brooklyn Brewery, which i should note says that this is better than rosĂ©. truly a bold claim so we’ll see how it holds up

The kiwi fruit is a very odd thing indeed. It’s sweet, tart, playful….but also brown, furry, and supernatural green on the inside. Frankly, the kiwi is altogether weird, but it’s also pretty delicious. Did we go there? We sure did, by peeling an entire pallet-full of ripe fresh kiwi fruit and adding it to a finely tuned sour beer in red wine barrels for a few months. We blended this with another beer that’s spent over a year in barrels to add extra complexity, and then re-fermented it all in the bottle.

The result is Kiwi’s Playhouse, a strong, playful beer with a distinctly tart edge. Kiwi’s Playhouse sports a bright palate that’s dry, full of tropical fruit and more delicious than eye-watering. It’s great with everything you want to eat this summer – barbecue, fish tacos, seafood, salads, goat cheeses. Forget the rosĂ© and get yourself into Kiwi’s Playhouse. Trust us – it’s more fun in here.

it starts with a pretty mild nose with no particular flavors jumping out, and a nice fluffy head that hangs around a while. straight sour at the front and then a light fruitiness. if you didn’t know it was kiwi i doubt most drinkers would be able to pinpoint the specific fruit, although it is meaningfully different from citrus or berry-oriented sours. while the sourness up front is very tart and sharp, it also has a second-stage sourness that’s drier and little more vegetal. i didn’t love the first few sips but this one is growing on me as the complexity comes out. i’ve not had many of Brooklyn’s more experimental beers so this one is a pleasant surprise, particularly as it’s an extremely drinkable 9% ABV.

all that said, this wouldn’t be replacing my rosĂ© anytime soon, though i can see it being very delicious with some fish tacos. 4.5/5

beer review! : Cambridge Brewing Company Hendrix Sour Ale

the first of the sours i got from BEER TOWN! this one is from Cambridge Brewing Company in Massachusetts, made with cucumbers and aged in gin barrels.


it has an interesting toasted wheat color and a lot of cucumber on the nose, with a creamy-looking head that disappears rather quickly, giving way to effervescence. it starts with some BIG cucumber fruitiness and then a moderate sourness augmented by the effervescence. this is a wonderful summertime drink. this could easily replace a pimm’s cup for your garden party drinking needs. 4.5/5


Northern Monk Patrons Rhubarb Sour

apparently the universe has decided to make a beer just for me. this one comes with pop rocks.

from Northern Monk Brew Co.:


so this beer is probably about as ‘high concept’ as you could imagine and 100% the kind of beer people make fun of when they complain about craft beer culture, but those people are reactionary dickheads so fuck em!

the key theme of it is rhubarb, both in flavor and design concept, which is all thoroughly explained under the peel-off label.

the exterior label (from Lord Whitney, ‘Connoisseurs of Make-Believe’) is weird and shiny in a way both fun and reminiscent of a hologram comic cover, and the bottom of the can includes pop rocks because why not this beer is already wonderful might as well just go completely silly.

honestly the packaging was so interesting i was kind of worried i might have shaken it up too much looking at everything.


the interior includes a whole description of rhubarb farming and the inspiration behind the photoshoot and the beer itself but i’m not gonna bother writing about any of that other than including the photos here because if you really want to see it all, go buy this beer because it’s super!

so, in a very simple sense this is exactly what it says on the (extremely ornate) label: it’s sour and kind of tastes like rhubarb. the color is a very pretty cloudy ruby/pink grapefruit.


more than that though, it’s dry and vegetal in a really interesting way because the taste is so unlike the big fruit flavors that tend to come in sours. i almost want to say it’s chalky, if that didn’t have a maybe negative connotation. tbh i kind of lack the vocabulary to describe this because it’s just very different in flavor and mouthfeel even though the basics (sour and rhubarb) are so straightforward. it’s just neat and weird in exactly the way small batch/craft/experimental beers should be. 5/5

p.s. the pop rocks are the only slightly less-than-stellar detail of this beer, because unfortunately they’re just flavored with cocoa butter instead of some kind of sour or fruit flavor, which would have made the whole thing perfect. (i suspect this is because we’re in the uk, where vanilla/plain pop rocks exist and are a thing people use/eat, instead of being considered a freakish aberration.) 20180731_1850271622122339.jpg

that said, they still actually work with the beer as a pairing and not just a gimmick because the sweetness of the pop rocks fills in some of the sweetness you might expect from a fruit sour or even a rhubarb dessert. you can almost think of the beer + pop rock combo as a super de/re-constructed rhubarb crumble.


beer review! : Fierce Beer Tart Night Sour Black IPA

muahahahaha time for another sour! i love sours! i have the palate of a child!

for reals tho sours and goses are on the whole my favorite kind of beer, (followed by stouts and porters) so i was very excited to find this, which is a sour black ipa combining sour brightness with some demon blood colored abyssal liquid.

according to the label,

‘Tart Night’ is a great take on our regular Black IPA ‘Night Shift’, which we kettle soured before throwing a massive haul of dry hops in. Roasty, juicy, hoppy, sour – it can’t possibly work… Can it?


fun fact: the website says it’s 6.5% ABV but the can i got says 7.0%.

also here’s some more marketing copy about Fierce Beer:


so on to the actual review, which i wrote in realtime as i drank it:

ahhhhhhhh this beer is so weird! it’s like sour licorice and blackberries or something! i love it but probably could not have more than like one a month because the combination is just so odd. i feel like it would be nice to try with a steak but i honestly can’t imagine what kind of preparation would work best because this beer is all over the place. it’s complex and fun and weird and exactly the kind of experiment that small batch seasonal things should be.





Gipsy Hill Moxie Spring Sour

Sour nose, fruity but not sickly, delicious and extremely weather appropriate (omg i love it). The apricot is wonderful and reminds me of a lambic but not nearly as cloying. I’m honestly kind of amazed at how rich and apricot-y the scent is. Like it’s not apricot flavor it’s just actual apricots somehow. Definitely gonna get it again, and also try all the other seasons when I can 🙂