I love sour beers. And I would love to see more sour beers on New Zealand shelves, but at the moment we’re still in that great heady rush of hoppy ales.
Yet nearly every brewer I’ve talked to about sour beers also exclaims their love of drinking and experimenting with them, and of plans advanced to one stage or another to get one out there for drinkers. But, often, there’s a hint that they know the beer might not find an audience with many drinkers…
Which was one of the great things about X-Ale; brewers able to have a crack at, play with, have some fun with some sour variations, knowing that there’d be drinkers waiting at the other end for the keg they end up producing.
A few weeks ago I’d been out in Upper Hutt visiting Kereru Brewing when Chris Mills, the head pigeon, told me that he’d prepared for X-Ale a sour seaweed ale. I was immediately excited, interested in how the saltiness and sometimes glutinous umami of seaweed might work in a beer, especially a sour beer.
So, it was one of the first ales I went to when finally down in Hashigo Zake, last Saturday.