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Eat | Drink

Beer of the week: Toucan Tart

chestnut-mandibled toucan in costa rica
Toucan Tart has a pinkish color, inspired by a toucan’s beak.
(Freder/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If you’re a fan of açai, you’ll want to try this tart beer by Vista’s Ebullition Brew Works

Beer Name: Toucan Tart
Brewery: Ebullition Brew Works
Style: Gose
ABV: 5.3%

With a stunning wall display of the cultural history of beer through the ages, Ebullition stands out among Vista breweries for its dedication to educating the public while also producing current styles and exploring lesser-brewed styles, like the Kentucky Warmer, Gose, and Scottish ale. The Gose, a German wheat beer noted for its sour and slightly salty character, is fruited by Ebullition with raspberry and açai.

PACIFIC chatted with Jan Buncher, the company’s principal and vice president, about Ebullition and Toucan Tart.

How did you come up with the name Ebullition?
JAN: After spending months on names we were not satisfied with, we opened up an old brewing book and had a bit of serendipity. The word ebullition caught our eye. It is related to the word ebullience and is pronounced somewhat similarly — “ĕb-uh-lish-uhn.” We were delighted to find out it had two meanings, both close to our heart. It is the stage of boiling wort and hops together, but it also means a sudden burst or display of passion and intensity.

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What about the name Toucan Tart?
JAN: We wanted to capture the tropical origin of the açai fruit and it had a certain assonance that seemed to fit well. The magenta-ish color of the beer is similar to the same color evident in the bird’s beak. It is a little homage to our two brewers, Mike Reidy and Tyler Nail who worked diligently and painstakingly to achieve a nice, balanced flavor.

What’s in it?
JAN: The base beer is a Gose, which is a slightly sour German wheat beer flavored with coriander. We added raspberry and açai berries.

What should someone expect for their first time trying Toucan Tart?
JAN: The glass is filled with a bright magenta, slightly cloudy concoction that says, like the bottle said to Alice, “Drink me.” An aroma of fresh raspberries opens to a complex mix of flavors that include lactic sourness, raspberry and açai, accented with coriander.

Perfect pairing?
JAN: Either a chocolate mousse or a traditional, plain cheesecake with a graham cracker crust.

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Where can I get it and for how long?
JAN: The Toucan Tart is currently only offered at our brewery and at Dini’s Bistro of Carlsbad. It will also be available at our new tasting room and restaurant opening late October/early November at The Square in Bressi Ranch.

This beer gal’s take: As a certified açai fanatic, I couldn’t wait to put my lips to the Toucan Tart. Refreshing and deliciously tart, I can’t think of a beer that is more suited to the SoCal weather and lifestyle. Grab a growler of this and serve at your next breakfast or brunch get-together with açai bowls, yogurt parfaits and raspberry french toast, and watch the eyes light up.

Extra juicy tidbit?
JAN: We invite everyone to our second anniversary party on Saturday, Oct. 19, with San Diego Music award winner, The Sleepwalkers, and nominee, singer/song writer, Shane Hall. We will feature a new beer inspired by the band with special swag, and a special tasting room experience using a Randall, a device developed by Dogfish Head that connects directly to the tap and flavors beer as it enters the glass. Anyone who has ever had a muddled cocktail will really appreciate this. There is no cover and we are dog and family friendly.

Ebullition Brew Works is open 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 3 to 10 p.m. Fridays; noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. 2449 Cades Way, Suite D, Vista. (760) 842-1046, ebullitionbrew.com


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