The Bruery – Sour in the Rye

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This is a post about The Bruery.  Its primary focus is this beer I’m drinking right now, Sour in the Rye.  Within the last 48 hours I have also drank Oude Tart and Bois, so they are also fresh on my mind.  I’ll just go ahead and say it: I’m a Bruery fan-boy.  Shut up.

The Bruery is a well known contender in the west coast craft beer scene and undoubtedly they produce some of the more highly regarded seasonals:  Chocolate Rain and Black Tuesday for instance.  Unfortunately, those are two bottles considered too good for the Canadian market, but a select number of Bruery releases are trickling into BC with our ever-growing import selection.  Among those are: White Oak, Bois, Sour in the Rye, and Mischief.  From personal experience I can say they are all rather delicious.

The Bruery is somewhat known for batch infections and premium pricing, also.  They aren’t known for perfection every time.  But despite that I continue to be a fan-boy because my personal experiences continue to be nothing short of awesome.  Also I will admit I wanted them to be awesome because I find their bottles and their general image to be rather appealing.  This is kind of like my love for Hair of the Dog; I seem to go for the breweries known for high batch variance for some reason.

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Right, I came here to talk about Sour in the Rye.  Well, it’s quite a pretty beer in addition to the pretty bottle: a kind of tangerine orange/red/pink combination that is finely opaque as if there was glacial silt in the beer.  The head isn’t out of control in size but is quite fun to lace and watch break down slowly.  It smells intensely tart but with fruit sweetness as well, there is no funk here, just fresh, under-ripe and hugely tart berry fruit.  Taking a sip results in decent pucker, sort of a sour cherry meets a sweet but super tart lemon thing going on.  It does a great job of being full-on sour without giving up the sweetness, and it’s not cloying though it’s not far off.  The rye influence is on the back-burner and comes through towards the finish along with some oak dryness.  The carbonation is fine and lively, and really makes it all a pleasure to drink.

My immediate thought when I took a sip of this beer is that it has scratched an itch that only Belle Royale from Driftwood had previously scratched.  It lacks the complexity of say a Cantillon but I don’t care–this is really enjoyable stuff that manages to be refreshing while tingling my sour-loving taste buds.

Oh, and I mentioned I had Bois and Oude Tart recently.  Bois blew me away a little bit with its complexity, as it had a little bit of everything:  bourbon, red fruit, vanilla, oak, booze, and so on.  I know it’s one to age but it’s quite amazing already.  Oude Tart hit a great balance of raspberry / blackberry tartness that I was completely satisfied by.  No complaints at all.

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