ZuurNovember 1, 2010 Cooperstown, NY
Available: AK, AZ, AK, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, IA, KS, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NM, NY, NC, NE, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, VA, WA, WS
Is “sour is the new hoppy, “ as a number of craft beer writers profess? This new sour beer a collaboration brewed in conjunction with Liefmans Brewery of Oudenaarde Belgium. Phil Leinhart, Ommegang brewmaster, went to Oudenaarde and worked with Marc Cousens, Liefmans’ brewmaster.
Original gravity: 1052
Zuur promises much to the lover of Flemish browns: a Liefmans/Ommegang pedigree, sour cherry aging, parchment foam, tangy-tart nose. Does it deliver? Yes, with reservations. Zuur is tart, with a good body and a nice creaminess, and the sour cherry comes through. There are no flaws here, no acetone notes, no dry woodiness. It's great with last night's pot roast. But...I'm left feeling there could be something more, especially with this much potential. Zuur will make a great intro to the intense niche of sour beers, but for those of us who've been sour for years, it's a stepping-stone.
- Lew Bryson
This “Brewed in Belgium” ale is a collaboration with Liefmans and that fact is reflected immediately in the aroma, which with its sweet-and-sour notes reminds me a bit of the Liefmans Goudenband of old. I also find vague hints of vanilla in the nose, along with strong aromas of the cherries used in its creation. The body strikes me as a bit thin for its character, with relatively straightforward fruit and spicy malt flavors, but that just accents the beer’s refreshing nature. A pleasing introduction to “mixed culture fermentation”―as described on the label―and a tasty addition to a snack of stinky cheese and good bread.
- Stephen Beaumont
Lew Bryson writes about beer and whiskey from his home in southeast Pennsylvania. He has a family and two dogs. That's all you need to know.
Once described as “beerdom's Brillat-Savarin,” Stephen Beaumont is the author of five books and countless articles on beer, spirits, food, travel, and how it all goes together.
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