The Commissioner – Grapefruit Sour IPA
We bought ourselves a present to kick off our 20th year: a brand new state-of-the-art brewhouse. Like all kids with a new toy, we had to test it to its full capacity. We needed to brew a beer to really put the new brewhouse through its paces. So we decided to brew a hoppy sour beer, and also run fresh grapefruit and hops through the new Hop Back.
‘The Commissioner’ was born. A kettle sour hopped with Topaz, Mandarina Bavaria and Wakatu and loaded with Australian ruby grapefruit for extra zing!
THE NEXT BIG THING: SOUR BEER
Sour beer is the hottest cold drink of today. The funky beverage is the latest niche offering to our fridges in a market obsessed with finding ever more out there and complex beers. Recently, craft beers have soared in popularity, with particular varieties, such as extremely hoppy IPAs, gaining a strong following among a swag of beer drinkers, who increasingly view beer with the discernment, vocabulary and sophistication once reserved for wine.
A good sour beer is like that friend you have who gets along with everyone they have ever met. Beer geeks love the layers of flavors in a sour, while people who don’t like beer love that it doesn’t quite taste like a ‘typical’ beer. And while the style was once hard to find, sours have become increasingly easy to get, thanks to craft breweries around the country.
Sour beer is one of the oldest types of beer in history. Nearly all beer used to be at least somewhat sour before pasteurization and sterilization was entirely understood. Sours today are tart-tasting, and made with wild bacteria and yeasts, whereas more familiar beers are made in sterile environments with specific yeast strains.
Today’s sour beers are oftenly influenced by two types of bacteria. The first is lactobacillus, a bacteria that turns sugars into lactic acid. The very same acid that makes yogurt taste slightly sour (and that makes your muscles sour after exercise). The second is pediococcus, a bacteria in the same family of lactobacillus that’s often used in Belgian beers to add acidity. Pediococcus can metabolize without oxygen, and the acidity will increase the longer it’s in a beer. Over time, pediococcus can also create diacetyl, a compound that has a buttery taste.
Sour beer comes in many varieties, which have been refined over the decades in Germany and Belgium, where sour beer has long been popular. There’s the light and tart Lambic beer, the fruity Flanders brew, the sea salt and coriander-influenced Gose and the lemony wheat beer Berliner Weisse. The Holgate team have adventured in several sour pathways with success with the Flanders Wild Red Ale & the Sour Brett Ale.
WHERE WILL YOU FIND THE COMMISSIONER – GRAPEFRUIT SOUR IPA?
The Commissioner – Grapefruit Sour IPA is a keg only release with a full list of venues to be confirmed.
NOW POURING AT THE BREWHOUSE, WOODEND VIC