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Herevana – Craftwork – Pickleback O’ambic

Craftwork Membership beer- in a bottle this is a member exclusive. I’m going the whole hog on this so the Whiskey, the beer and a pickle. The pickles from the cheese plate that Im having too.

pickleback is a type of shot wherein a shot of whiskey is chased by a shot of pickle brine; the term “pickleback” may also refer only to the shot of pickle brine itself. Alternatively, the shot of whiskey can be chased by a bite of a pickle (generally, a whole dill pickle). The pickle brine works to neutralize both the taste of the whiskey and the burn of the alcohol.


Craftwork of course make the Craftwork Pickleback O’ambic – in Oamaru, Otago, 🇳🇿 New Zealand. This is loosely a Sour / Wild Beer  with an ABV of  8.0% – the 500ml bottle would be 3.16 standard drinks in NZ

Craftwork recently raised 108 memberships that included a selection of beers, and some merch. Some of the beers are in dark place waiting for the day, I’m making a proper effort to leave them to age according the the advice from the brewers. However there are a couple of bottles that cried out for tasting.

Well the aroma is of a sour beer, this one seems more to sweet.

A lovely looking beer in the glass, pale yellow.

A Pickleback.

And there are you – pickle beer! Not overly briny or pickle like, but it is there, and it made me smile. What isn’t there is alcohol burn, so I don’t know if I need the Whiskey first.

I’m going the whiskey then beer combination, and those pickles looks quite nice too. The Whiskey is JW Gold Label reserve, I’m loath to shoot it, but I gave it a brave big sip, then the beer. and I’m thinking I did it wrong, but there’s plenty of time to practice this 🙂

I made a side trip to the cheese (blue) and a crush of the pickle., and I went again. Which was the end of that experiment. I’m not sure that although this is a beer that has the pickle about it that it’s not quite what they had in mind. That and the Whiskey is probably just a bit posh to be slung back. Perhaps I’m a snob.

When of course that shambles settled down I was back to the beer, and once again marvelled at the pickle. This also made me think that the Garage Project Pickle beer might be worth a go if they are still available.

I like the Lambic/Sour beers, and hope I know a good one from a trier, those by Hallertau, and of course Craftwork are really amongst the finest and the Pickleback O’ambic really is on the top tier in my opinion.

The Pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 on the arbitrary number scale. The beer is lovely, and despite that pickle brings thing going on is really quite pleasant, the whole is rather a smooth and tasty beer that has an amazing balance and delivery.

Music: David Bowie Live at the Kit Kat Klub

Herevana beers are those I drink at home, I’m not at some beer festival, like, for instance, Beervana, but am just in my kitchen, usually, dining room table, sometimes, or outside, occasionally, where I can take an average picture and write in real time about the beer that I’ve invested in, both in a monetary and emotional way.

Philip himself.

One year old spontaneously fermented ale (70% Pilsner 30% wheat)) aged in an ex pickle barrel, and blended with 20% jenever 

Brewers Notes

Sour / Wild Beer

The “Wild Beer” and the “Sour Beer” are catch-all styles for any golden to amber colored beer where the implementation of a microorganism other than traditional brewer’s yeasts ensures a drier, thinner, sour and/or funkier product. Such microorganisms includes Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces. Younger versions are brighter and fruitier, while older ones possess more depth of funk and may lose more of the base style character. The base beer style becomes less relevant because the various yeast and bacteria tend to dominate the profile. They are non-traditional beer interpretations or experimentations inspired by Belgian classic sour / wild ales. The “Traditional Wild / Sour Beers” are often the result of a Mixed-Fermentation Blend of beers aged in barrels and tend to have a complex funky taste acquired from the microbial flora. Wood or barrel aging is very common in this type of beers, but not required. The “Kettle Sour Beers” or “Quick Soured Beers” are generally soured using a Kettle Souring technique in a stainless steel mash tun and have a tartness taste similar of an unsweetened yogurt.


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