by Corin Hirsch
This week: Steven Sour, a "sour IPA" collaboration of Magic Hat Brewing Co. and Vermont Pub & Brewery.
Cost: Sample provided by Magic Hat, but 22-ounce bottles are for sale for $4.99 throughout Vermont (the beer is also on tap throughout the state).
Strength: 5.6 percent abv.
The pour: A murky, burnt orange with a faint head that quickly dissipates. The beer has little to no aroma, but if you try hard you might smell apricots.
The taste: There's zestier carbonation than its appearance suggests, and each sip bristles and roughs up the tip of your tongue before rolling across the middle with the slightest hint of sourness. It's quenching, with dry, lingering wisps of grapefruit — but it's also ever so chalky.
Drink it with: This made me want to start whipping up a chicken curry with almonds and apricots — or maybe just a plate of Comté, sliced baguette and quince paste.
Backstory: Two Vermont brewing heavyweights got together to brew this beer in celebration of VPB's 25th anniversary, and it's only for sale (in bottles and on tap) in Vermont.
Verdict: As fun as it is to see Steve Polewacyk's puckered face on the label, the "sour" of the name is slightly misleading; there's little tart, sour or even IPAish about this beer. The label says it was brewed with passionfruit juice, but Steven Sour tastes to me like a wheat beer-lager hybrid into which the brewers tossed some stone fruit and a handful of grapefruit peels. It really defies any easy style categorization. It's strange but juicy nonetheless.
'Midweek Swig' tackles a new liquid release each week. If you have suggestions for something to sample, please send them to Corin at email@example.com.