Breakwater Brewing Company: Pink Something
Pair with: chocolate cake
Pink in color and deep in flavor, this week's pick blends multiple styles into one tangy, sour beverage with a big, fruity nose. It's drinkable, although it is higher in ABV than a traditional sour. This beer is anything but traditional...
Pink Something comes to us from Lars Gilman, head brewer and co-owner at Breakwater Brewing Company. Gilman has worked in the industry for many yesrs, hailing from Stone Brewing Company and Chicago's Goose Island, before they were acquired by Anheuser-Busch. Pink Something is a mixture of two of Breakwater's house beer selections, Beach Honey and Rasbiscus Mead.
"We've been aging it (in equal quantities) for 18 to 24 months in a repurposed red wine barrel that we've inoculated with three strains of Brettanomyces yeast, as well as Lactobacillus and Pediococcus bacteria. The beer super-attenuates within four or five months, but the flavor and acidity continue to develop for at least another year," he said.
Beach Honey is a light-bodied cream ale that may seem like an oddity to add in to this Frankenstein-of-a-sour concoction, but it actually ends up evening out the mead's flavor and mellows the sour. It's tart, but it's not a Warhead-like, mouth-puckering beer. In fact, it doesn't even fit the notable Great American Beer Festival style guidelines for a sour beer.
"It's one of our more outside-the-box beers. It's definitely not a traditional Belgian-style sour, nor does it fit neatly into the parameters for any of the GABF style guidelines for sour beers. We make it because we love distinctive and complex sours," Gilman said.
Hey, as long as a beer is sour, then it's a sour beer, right? Maybe not to some, but Gilman believes that you should be open to playing with styles when you have your own brewery or pub and tap list that you can get creative with.
"I believe that a small brewpub like ours, with about 15 different house beers on tap at any given point in time, should try to make about half of its lineup solid examples of recognized and well-defined beer styles," he said. "And then let the other half consist of more whimsical offerings."
The pink brew is certainly something of magic; the color is a dark pink color with some hints of rye-flavor and a sweet tasting finish that helps support and balance out the upfront sour.
The great part about this brew is the daring aspect of putting a mixed-beer on the menu. A lot of breweries seem to have some beers that mix well together, but these concoctions often remain the bartenders and brewers' experiments and best kept secrets. It's nice to see a brewery pushing the envelope and going for what tastes good versus what a style ought to be.
This beer is currently available on tap at Breakwater Brewing Co. Get it while it's cold!
101 N. Coast Highway 101, Oceanside. Breakwaterbrewing.com