not a huge fan of sour beers because the sourness tends to taste
identical in different beers from different breweries. It’d be nice to
see some variety. Well, my wish was granted in the form of Hermit Thrush
Brattlebeer – which is spontaneously fermented with wild yeast and also
blended with cider. Those two flavor components match up nicely and
make for one of the most interesting beers I’ve had in a while.
I poured a 16oz can into a flared snifter. There was no freshness date. Thanks to Jon H. for this can!
Appearance: Hazy golden/maize color. No visible carbonation. Pours to a
small, white, sudsy head which evaporates quickly and completely.
Smell: Both sour and cider aromas are present immediately. Some citrusy scents, too.
Taste: When I read the description for this beer on the can I figured it
was going to be more of a beer cocktail than a traditional beer since
it’s blended with cider. However, just one sip in and I knew that it is
indeed a beer that just happens to have some cider in it. There’s pretty
much only two flavors here: wild yeast and the cider. They match up so
perfectly it’s actually quite amazing. A light tartness up front with a
taste of fresh apple juice. I get some white grape flavor through the
middle, followed by dry, lightly sour finish. I don’t get much in the
way of malt or hop characteristics (none that are strong enough to pick
out individually, that is). Still, this is pretty tasty, albeit
Drinkability: Apparently this beer used to be only 4.2% ABV, but is now
5.2% ABV. I’d be curious to know why it was increased, since a lighter
body would be ideal for this brew. It’s pretty refreshing while in the
mouth and it finishes clean and dry. The mouthfeel is pretty thin,
though. Hermit Thrush Brattlebeer would be perfect as a session brew in
the summer… if it were just a little bit lighter.