Rhinegeist had dabbled in the sour game a little bit with a few great kettle sours. Peach Dodo is delicious, and a clear hit. Their ‘Press Tart’ collaboration with 16 bit has been a huge favorite too, with it rumored to be making its way into cans soon as well. But there is a realm that they’ve been dabbling in for a while, that is poised to get people really looking at the brewery that has been given plenty of shit for making a lot of IPAs and Pale Ales.
Remember back last year when we saw a couple tweets go out, showing some big oak foeders being installed in the depths of Rhiengeist? Well… did you also notice shortly thereafter that they were looking to hire brewers for the sour side of things? I noticed… You know where I am going with this topic, right?
Barrel Aged Sours.
The series of bottled barrel aged sours is called the “Outer Reaches Sour Ales”. Each of these beers is a unique piece to the overall series of Brett Culture, Mixed Culture and Fruited/Cuvée brews, all thematically simliar, with science themed names while still being incrediblity unique. If you want a little more information about the series, you can read the full press release over on Drinking With The Gnome, or you should probably also pay their website a visit, they’ve got a really great in depth breakdown of the series itself there.
The labels read:
Born from chaos, mastered by science
This is good stuff. The labels are clean looking, with some awesome science fiction-y accents and some beautiful archways that immediately remind me of the ceiling in their massive tap room.
The first label that slid through the TTB late last year was for Science Fiction, but that looks like it might have just been the start of their series of barrel aged sours. Let’s look at each of them one by one to get a peek into what’s been souring away in the barrel room at 1910 Elm Street.
We already talked about this back in October when the label first rolled through my inbox, but I think it bears repeating now too, since it has some company finally. Science Fiction is labeled as a ‘Funky Blonde Ale’. It’s 6.9% ABV and has a PH of 3.63. The beer was aged for 20 months in barrels, and the labels description reads:
Amidst the depths of science, the silent vortex of time probes outer reaches of wood and ether. What is true is the question at hand, a squirming coil hot to the touch. This funky blonde ale delivers a blast of brettanomyces and mixed culture – complexities intriguingly born by molecular galaxies.
Infinite Dawn is a Sour Blonde Ale, aged for 6 months. The beer is 6.05% ABV and 3.34 PH. The label reads:
With reverential intent and an effervescent yawp, we begin. A Sour Blonde Ale, Infinite Dawn balances tangerine, pear, and apple aromas, with subtle rays of vanilla, oak and sourness. It is where we were, where we are, and where we hope to be – the outer reaches.
This one spent 10 months in a barrel, creating a beer that is 6.75% ABV and 3.52 PH – this fruited sour is one I’m really looking forward to trying – I love the thought of the mango playing off the tart acidity of the beer. The label tells it’s tale:
Amidst questions of consciousness, here blossoms an expressive fruity phenomena. A Fruited Sour Ale, Metaphysical Mango began in an oak foeder before colliding with a meteoric mango melange. Fruit forward with a crisp finish, Metaphysical Mango delivers delicious existence.
18 months in a barrel turned out this 6.05% beer with a 3.54ph. An addition of apples to the beer gives it a fruity punch and makes me think that it might lend itself well to pairing up with dinner. From the label:
This beer, much like life, is exceedingly complex. Dry and mildly funky, it resided with our house Brettanomyces for 18 months, spontaneously discerning it’s pear, citrus and apple essence. Existential Apples – one step closer to the meaning of liquid.