Style: Sour Ale
ABV: 6 %
Availability: Now Pouring
What the hell is Aronia you ask? A fine, fine question…
Aronia is a fruit also known as Chokeberry and in the same family as all those other scrumptious fruits such as apples, plums, cherries, raspberries and many more! The fruit is native to North America but used in multiple countries to make anything from jams and jellies, right through to wines and herbal teas.
It’s called a chokeberry due to its intense bitterness when unripe. It’s one of the highest measured fruits for its anthocyanin content. These are a type of polyphenol (often quite astringent to taste) and a wonderful antioxidant. They also make Aronia intensely coloured, making the beer itself a deep and rich crimson colour.
A similar grist (grain bill) to my other fruited sour ales was used and then lightly soured using lactic acid in the kettle. I didn’t want to use lactic acid producing bacteria as per usual, as I was unsure of extent of the Aronia’s acidity and the impact it would have on the final drinkability. Lactic acid is produced by a bacterial fermentation process and purified for use in food and beverages, so by slowly adding this throughout the process, it resulted in something that has the perfect sweet/sour balance.
As well as Aronia, pureed blueberries, raspberries and boysenberries were also added at fermentation to really make the beer taste like the freshest jam!
Unfiltered and without any finings added, this is vegan friendly and I reckon should definitely count as one of your fruits for the day! A total equivalent of 170 kilograms of raw fruit was used in a 1100 litre batch! So we’ll be generous and say a pint has about the same weight of fruit as a small apple. Excellent!
The Aronia Syndrome – Berried Sour Ale – 6.0%
Malt – Pilsener, Wheat, Sour Grapes, Oats
Hops – Aged Falconer’s Flight (2012)
Other – Aronia juice, pureed blueberries, raspberries and boysenberries, lactose, lactic acid
Yeast – House strain, warm fermented
Aroma – Big notes of berry fruit with tart blackberry and boysenberry aromatics dominating.
Flavour – Initial berry sweetness followed by mid-palate sourness and juice berry flavours throughout. Finishes with a good balance of sourness and sweetness. Light malt character throughout.
Appearance – A deep crimson colour, almost Ribena-like. A wonderful pink foam upon pouring.
Bitterness – Very low