Craft Beer: Refreshing sours from Lacada and Superstylin'
INDIAN summers, a bit like India Pale Ales, are a bit of hangover from the Raj. Of course, unseasonable warmth in mid to late September in these parts is also known as 'back to school weather', the sun seeming to take some kind of sadistic pleasure in roasting the necks of school children burdened by stiff and heavy new uniforms.
I've always thought of sours as a summer style of beer, so picking up a few recently in the Drink Link in Newry seemed like me attempting to eke out a few more days of summer.
Fruity, fizzy, refreshing and tart, sours have become something of a grown up soft drink given so many of them are as far away from the understanding of what beer is by a fair number of drinkers.
First up was Go Ahead, a 5 per cent cherry sour from Lacada. This pours a deep pink colour with thin white lacing and, like many sours, not much head to speak off.
There are a few wafts of cherry on the nose, but to get the full effect you have to flood this one over the palate. There's a richness to the cherry flavours, but the sourness is minimal ad the predominant taste is the freshness of the fruit.
It doesn't have the sickly cherry sweetness of a kriek, but neither does it have that eye-squeezing, lip-pursing sourness to it either.
All in all, a refreshing and very easy drinking drop.
Beer Hut have been one of the more prolific local breweries when it comes to sours.
Superstylin' is a 4 per cent pineapple, lemon and lime sour which pours an oddly conventional amber colour in the glass.
Although, there's nothing straightforward about the flavours and you'll soon realise that a little paper umbrella wouldn't go a miss plonked in the middle of it all.
The citrus flavours help bring a sharp and crisp taste, kind of like a lager tops, if you are a particular vintage.
The pineapple gives it a certain tropical sweetness, but isn't overbearing and this all adds up to a nicely balanced, light and crisp sour.