For all of you who are searching for a new kind of patio beer (but with flavour), I think I may have found your solution. What would say to a beer that tastes something like lemonade, something like iced tea but still has a beer character?
If you say yes, let me introduce you to Blindman Brewing’s Lemons & Limes Fruited Kettle Sour (although I am certain they are using “fruited” in an entirely inappropriate way grammatically). As most readers know Blindman has been running an ongoing series of kettle sour beer – beer inoculated with lactobacillus pre-boil to create a fast-acting sour beer. Most of the time they just swap out the hops to see what happens. However, this time for the upcoming summer season, they brewed up their kettle sour with a healthy dose of both lemons and limes to the fermented beer.
And what a difference it made.
The beer pours a deeply murky, almost muddy dark gold. There is no head to speak of. The aroma gives off bright lemon and lime. I find it light, sweet and summery. I also detect some sugary sweetness and light tart character. I also get a little bit of zesty lemon as well. Frankly it smells disturbingly like lemonade.
The taste is similarly intriguing. There is a sugary sweetness up front along with a hint of tannin. The middle sharpens up with a light tartness but also with a fresh citrus flavour. An earthy note also emerges, keeping the beer grounded. The finish is lemony and tart and sweet. The lime is present but plays a supporting role, lifting up the beer and making it brighter and fresher than lemon alone (I have always found limes to be brighter and softer than lemons). The beer reminds me of a lemon-rich iced tea in a way. The tart is present but remains in balance with the other flavours, making for a refreshing finish.
Here is my issue. I can’t decide if this beer is more reminiscent of lemonade or iced tea. There is enough graininess to give a tannin-like character which brings out the tea. But, man, that aroma is straight up lemon/limeade. I like how the sweet, citrus and tart blend together to create a remarkably refreshing and summery beer. Hence my suggestion that this is an excellent patio beer.
My gut tells me this is one of those rare, odd beer that will be a hit both with beer aficionados and reluctant beer drinkers. It doesn’t really taste like “beer”, but it does what it aims to so well that even the most cynical beer geek will have to recognize what is going on here. A masterful effort.
Lemons and limes, indeed.