Fearful Symmetries

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12 February, 2016

In the Basement Bars: Suburban Beverage by Perennial Artisan Ales



The final brew of a trio of sour biers from the folks at Perennial Artisan Ales that I'm reviewing is called Suburban Beverage, a gose. After having tasted a couple of Berliner Weisses, Pineapple Kumquat and Hopfentea, I have concluded that the folks at Perennial enjoy tropical fruit flavor in their German style sours and that they aren't shy about making their brews tart. I will add that all three biers come in at 4.2% A.B.V. Perennial is quite consistent if nothing else.

Suburban Beverage may be a gose but it is far from traditional. While it does contain salt as is typical for the style, it was also brewed with orange peel, lemon peel and key lime juice which are highly irregular. The label also indicates "spices" so we shall see if that means the conventional coriander or perhaps something different. Also on the label is a bottled date of 7/2015 which means that this bier had been in my cellar for about 5 months before I consumed it.

Suburban Beverage pours a light gold. The bier is hazy. Unlike with Hopfentea, I managed to pour this brew and get a nice head. It was big, white, and loose and it stuck around for a little while. There was a goodly number of bubbles inside going upwards.

The aroma brought Fruit Stripes bubble gum to mind with its very sweet fruity scent. It wasn't a particular fruit but rather like a gestalt of all tropical fruits in one. And there was the lemony lactic tartness that I've come to expect from Perennial. Rather potent on the nose but not potent enough to subdue the sugary tropical sweetness.

As with the previous two Perennial brews, the first thing my tongue encountered was a dose of lemony lacto tartness that could fell a horse. The sour mellowed as I continued drinking but not by a whole lot. A brisk but not deadly bit of tartness carried throughout my session. Blending into it were the citrus flavors from the fruit components added with the lime juice standing out amongst its peers in the tartness. I am fairly particular when it comes to salt in my gose and I think Perennial did a nice job here with just the right amount to both accent the ingredients as well as to just barely come across as salinity. There must be cinnamon amongst the spices used here because it combined with the salt and grains in the bier to fool me into thinking that I was drinking a graham cracker.

Suburban Beverage finishes quite clean with a lingering tartness courtesy of the lactic acid as well as the lime juice. There was, sadly, no Schaumhaftvermoegen to be had

Perennial impressed me here not only with being able to produce the perfect amount of tartness in three sour biers in a row but also with the salt. It not only accented the other ingredients but was also a flavor of its own, if only just. I like to taste the salinity in a gose but it should definitely be low-key and not the zymurilogical equivalent of a salt lick. I liked the citrus flavors here quite a bit but I just couldn't get past the lime-flavored graham cracker taste of the bier. The cinnamon just didn't do it for me. I don't dislike graham crackers either. I just didn't think that the tartness went well with cinnamon. This is a shame because I otherwise really liked this bier, especially the lime juice had commingled with the lactic tartness.

Junk food pairing: Pair Suburban Beverage with some tortilla chips. The cinnamon goes especially well with mole flavored chips.

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|| Palmer, 6:29 AM

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