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Sour Beer Day 2019

We’re proud of our sour beer program. We were one of the first in New Jersey to brew sour beers — certainly the first to have a dedicated sour brewery — and we’ve been going strong since the beginning.

Our first season of barrel-aged sours ended up with the top two entries on The Beer Connoisseur’s Top 10 American Wild Ales of 2017, with The Topsail being named their Best Beer of 2017. From the second season, Phantom Crew and Higbee won multiple awards. And, in this season of sour brews, The Beer Connoisseur rated Temporarily Permanent an astounding 95: Exceptional.

And, today, on Sour Beer Day, we’ll be celebrating sour beer in all its glory!

As we’ve mentioned, we’ve had some outside authorities say that, when it comes to sour beers, we know our stuff. So, if you’ve been on the fence about sour beers — after all, they’re not exactly traditional –, on Sour Beer Day, you’ll have the chance to make up your mind once and for all.

All day long, we’ll be pouring four-ounce samples of the five sour beers currently available for purchase in the Brewtique.

Possibly Maybe

“Lemon Droppy, tart & salty. Brett funky.” — Mark E.

“Tasted by five sour lovers. Everyone loved it.” — George C.

“Did not expect to like this so much.” — Paul C.

Inspired by our much-loved and sadly-retired sour IPA, Corrosion, Possibly Maybe has a primary fermentation with Brettanomyces claussenii and Lactobacillus brevis in stainless for a month before being racked into red wine barrels for another 26 months.

“Possibly Maybe has a lot of subtle complexity,” says Innovation Director Brian Hink. “It’s well-balanced and inviting, and I enjoy that.”

After spending over two years in barrels, we drew Possibly Maybe back into stainless for a hefty dry-hopping of Motueka and Lemondrop, resulting in a Golden Sour Ale with enough hops presence to satisfy even the most staunch of hopheads. 

“The hops are there but not the sole focus,” Brian says. “The barrel character is there but only in a complementary role. The base beer is there but not anywhere near the level of some of our other sours.”

Irrationally Exuberant

“Definitely tastes like it was aged in red wine barrels. Sour and easy to drink ❤️??” — Andrea H.

“Wine & sour. Curious blend. Warming up. Nice & crisp.” — Butch W.

“Bursting with flavor. Strong alcohol flavor. Need a couple sips to open up the flavors.” — Linda T.

Inspired by one of our most award-winningest beers, The Topsail, Irrationally Exuberant has been blowing everyone away at the brewery.

“It’s very well balanced and has a ton of complexity to it,” Brian says. “I like that, at 7%, it’s not crazy high ABV like our sours tend to be, and I feel like the sourness is at just the right level.”

Aged for 27 months in carefully-selected red wine barrels, Irrationally Exuberant is well-balanced with an enticing sourness, a layered profile, and a nuanced finish. Rustic with underlying notes of oak, hints of overripened stone fruits permeate throughout, leading to a brew that requires repeat sips to unveil the full picture. 

“It’s what I like to drink when I’m looking for a sour beer,” says Brewer Kevin Kately.

The “Z” Is Silent

“Smooth, with a crushable spice on the back-end. Perfect to conquer the Low Countries with.” — Jack T.

“Sour and red. Tangy punch in the lips.” — George M.

“Wow!” — Greg L.

This may be one of our longest projects — at 42 months, The “Z” Is Silent was racked into red wine barrels for a loooooong time. It was originally brewed at the same time as another of our award-winning barrel-aged brews, Phantom Crew.

“We had around twice as much of that barrel stock as any other potential single release in the coffers,” Brian says, “so the decision was made to release half of it as Phantom Crew and let the other half continue aging to be released as the ‘Grand Cru’ version a year or two down the line.”

Fruity up-front while reminiscent of the red wine barrel’s past life, The “Z” is Silent’s golden, copper color invites the palate to experience the luscious mouthfeel and depth of flavors. With an upfront, harmonious blend of malt and acidity, a touch of funk and a tannic quality ties things together on the finish.  

“I think this beer is really special,” he says. “From the story behind the beer to the finished product, I’m really pleased with how this came out.”

Bière De Mineur

“Light and crisp.” — George M.

“Pretty standard for the style apart from being extra sour (no complaints here). Soft and minerally.” — Nate S.

“Super good. Nicely done guys.” — Peter D.

Aged in stainless, Bière De Mineur was designed by the production team back in 2016 — so long ago that one of the guys who designed it doesn’t work here any longer and another is in a completely different position.

Brewers Andrew Ewing and Mark Graves supplied their own home-grown yeast cultures for this brew, both of which have evolved into very tart and funky strains.

“I like the low, 5% ABV,” Andrew says, “but it still has tons of flavor. For such a simple beer, you get a little bit of a lemon tartness, I get a lot of leather flavors. It has kind of a perceived sweetness, but it’s bone dry.”

Similar to the beers made on the French and Belgian border to refresh miners after a long day, Bière du Mineur cuts through the toils of a hard day’s work. A beautifully tart and funky beer with a nice dry finish, Bière De Mineur is perfect for dipping your toes into the world of sour and funky beers. 

“It’s tart, with a little bit of funk,” he says. “It’s simple and clean, but it starts off pretty complex. It finishes dry and delicious.”

Fleetingly Anchored

“One of the tastiest, heavy-hitting sours I’ve had. Fruity and dry, perfect before a summer train ride.” — Jack T.

“This is really good.” — Doug H. 

“Awesome dry sour. The red wine barrels are a nice touch.” — Garret K.

The third in a strong lineage of great barrel-aged beers, Fleetingly Anchored was racked for 30 months in the same barrels that held our first barrel-aged release, The Keel, and the beer that put us on the map in Sourland, The Topsail. 

“This beer definitely shares some similarities with its barrel-mates,” Brian says. “It leans closer to The Topsail for sure.” 

Fruity, sharp, and deceptively drinkable, Fleetingly Anchored finishes with intense flavors of over-ripened stone fruits making it firmly rooted in the succession of our Barrel Aged Series in terms of flavor and conception. 

“It’s very well rounded, rich, sharp, super-bright, tangy, and just a little bit of alcohol heat coming through,” Brian says, “bringing a subtle warming quality that helps you realize it’s an almost 12% beer.”

Be sure to stop by the Tasting Room today to try all of these brews. See you then!