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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Paradise for Sour Beers - Cascade Brewing, Honey Ginger Lime

I don't even know what to say about sour beers - if you haven't had one.  For first-timers, it's an experience unto itself. Prepare yourself not for a light acidic taste in the back of your throat, but for a full frontal assault on the senses.  Something like this if you're not expecting it:

I tried for like two seconds to find real adults drinking sour beer for the first and failed - stupid short attention span and all - but this captures it just as well.

I happen to like sour beers.  A lot, in fact.  They're like a petty addiction.  One of the first I had was at a dinner at Pizzeria Basta in Boulder, CO.  It was a pairing in cohoots with The Bruery, and the beer they chose to bring was one I had wanted to try for awhile - Sans Pagaie.  Great frickin beer. It got me hooked.  But once again, if your trying it for your first time - just give it a few sips.  The first might knock you on your *ss, and make you never want to go near one again, but be patient.  By your third sip into it, you begin to get it, and a whole new world of complex flavor opens up. I promise.  Or maybe I'm just trying to trick you - either way there's only one way to find out.

So, upon a trip to Portland, Or., I simply had to run by Cascade Brewing - specifically the Barrel House.  They are known for their sours, but produce other fantastic beers as well.  Take a look at their collection here:

The Cascade Brewing Barrel House is pretty cool.  Nice and open.  Staff knows their stuff, and I hear the food's great too, but I can't vouch for that because I didn't eat any.  A big plus is that they list beer pairings with their dishes, which I am into big time.  Maybe next time...

Honey Ginger Lime - Cascade Brewing

We tasted a number of beers here, all of which were excellent.  Saison de la Maison, Sang Noir (wow, excellent), and a few others, but the last was such a pleasant surprise I just feel like writing about it.  Honey Ginger Lime.  Cascade calls it a "sour honey rye ale was barrel aged for 8 months before aging additionally on ginger and lime zest".  7.5% ABV

This beer pours very hazy, with deep gold color with some orange to it.  Nice head - over an inch or so (forgot the damned tape measure) - with great retention.

On the nose, pretty much lives up to it's name - strong ginger and citrus, with a limeade feel to it - Almost more like a cocktail than a beer.

Taste damn near borders on refreshing and thirst quenching.  Strong sour notes hit the back of the palate immediately, but give way to spicy ginger characteristics, and a mild sweetness to counter the harsh sour.  Seriously bright and refreshing -

Wow - Don't have anything to compare it to, but REALLY good.  Great Spring/Summer beer, and just plain drinkable.

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