Imperial Fruited Sour
By Jake Endres, co-founder
Today, we released our second overfruited imperial sour, Toastmaster. This beer is an amped up version of Berliner we made in the past, with a higher ABV (9%) and four times the amount of fruit (strawberries and blueberries) plus vanilla and maple syrup.
This style of beer has been popular for a while, and we've wanted to take a foray into making it. The style revolves around using unfermented fruit to get a sweet, super fruity flavor and incredibly thick body/pulpy finish. Overfruited sours have been pretty contentious in the brewing world since....well...they have the tendency to explode if left warm. A lot of folks, myself included, felt this might not be the best practice, at least with a beer you're putting in cans.
However, the truth is that using unfermented fruit does give you an effect that just can't be replicated. And the best part is that you can cut the lactose. We've brewed quite a few lactose heavy Berliners in the past (Merrang, Vibes, Crush) but last year we started our goal of cutting down lactose in most of our beers.
These are the new dessert sour for us. A month ago I posted about our new series of goses focused on high drinkability, with fully fermented fruit and light salinity. These new superfruited sours are the other side of the coin. We designed them to be higher ABV sippers (with accurate ABVs) that are anything but subtle in flavor. I think Toastmaster is a good start.
But what about exploding cans? We've taken some steps to make the beer somewhat shelf stable using a process similar to one used in stabilizing wine. After testing, we believe that although it is definitely best to store these cans cold, a few days at warm temperature won't produce any exploding cans.
This type of beer has a lot of possibilities. There are a lot of flavors that come forward in sweeter beers and tend to disappear during fermentation. Honey, different types of sugar crystals or invert sugar, and maple syrup are all examples of such. I'm excited to see what we can create using these techniques.