In April, we provided a look-see at Belching Beaver Brewery’s Oceanside production-brewery. In addition to housing a 30-barrel brewhouse, bottling line, plenty of cans and cold-storage, the facility is also home to a variety of barrels. Those oaken receptacles are the domain of Peter Perrecone, who came to Belching Beaver from 100%-wild operation Toolbox Brewing Company last August, and is now in charge of his current employer’s sour-beer program. He produced quality tart ales at his previous gig, so there has been ample anticipation of his next-generation sours, the first of which go on sale Saturday, August 13 at Belching Beaver’s Oceanside tasting-room (1334 Rocky Point Drive, Oceanside).
A sampling of Belching Beaver Batch 1 took me back to Perrecone’s previous work. An American blonde wild ale aged nine months in French oak red wine barrels, then aged an additional two months on 525 pounds of fresh raspberries, it was profoundly sour (read, saliva-inducing tart) with an abundance of fruit flavor. It paired nicely with a summer day and, at 6.71% alcohol-by-volume, it was substantial enough to take the place of an IPA, especially in a 500-milliliter bottle (most sours come in small 375ml bottles or far-too-ambitious 750ml glass). It’s a promising start, and the beer is currently available at Belching Beaver’s Oceanside tasting-room.
Future offerings from the brewery’s barrel-aged sour-beer program include…
- Batch 2 (7.3%): An American sour brewed with citrus-honey and aged on peaches and apricots in French oak red wine barrels.
- Batch 3 (6.66%): An unfruited American sour spiked with Pediococcus and aged in red wine barrels.
- Batch 4 (6.75%): A hoppy Brettanomyces ale brewed with Citra and Galaxy hops and fermented in stainless steel.
- Batch 5 (6%): An American sour ale brewed with local homebrewer (and West Coaster contributor) Ryan Reschan aged on Masumoto Family Farm peaches and nectarines in French oak red wine barrels.