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Beer – #1,107 – Emporium Brewing – Sourtopf

It appears to have been about 4 months since I posted something in long form, and not that Johnny-come-lately Instagram where you’ll find quite a few pictures and short musings always mostly about beer. Some would say too many. Oh I also write for www.hoppiness.co.nz now and again – New Zealand’s only Dedicated Craft Beer Magazine.

But there are certain things that make you want to enjoy a bit of time and musing over a keyboard. The reason this time is for Emporium – Sourtopf – a beer I enjoyed in November 2021.

This came up for sale again, brewed in 2019 – bottled in 2023, far to precious to go past and far to alluring for me not to buy it to enjoy.

It’s about beer, I guess it’s age related, a bit like me

Emporium Brewing are based in  Kaikoura, Canterbury, 🇳🇿 they make the Sourtopf which has an ABV of 5.2% and it is a Fruited Golden Sour beer in a 375ml Bottle that in turn has 1.5 standard drinks.

Smily Man and a Beer

I’m quite excited really, I am sure you can tell, these are rarely seen beers that I’m sure you’d agree are worthy of attention. They’re also reasonably prices for such beer, which is always nice.

Based on a German tradition of adding fruits to rum as they come into season over summer (Rumtopf)

We did the same but with a Pinot Noir barrel aged Golden Sour. We added cherries, apricots, black boy peaches and feijoas

Assertive sourness followed by a fruity finish

So, What could possibly go wrong

The aroma on opening is muddy fruity sour mustiness, which I quite like.The pour is flat like a cider perhaps, but a glorious golden orange and if your fanciful its rather pink hued.a lovely mustiness in the glass.

Quite understated sourness in this, a proper sourness, not a sherbet one. It’s very fruity.

I’m pretty sure last time I had, and if I have to decipher my earlier writings this seems to be much more mellow and calm around the sourness, and the abrupt cherryness seems to have been toned down.

It really is quite nice and I don’t think I’m doing it a justice.

Although here I am now questioning or double guessing myself on wether this is too flat, under carbonated, it’s very still. I decide against it as there’s nothing to suggest it other than my own thinkings.

I left it for a few minutes, in search of the cheese and crackers, and on return I thought that the natural warming from fridge to more towards room made a lot of difference in this, helped is settle down round out and gather itself together. This made me smile.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. This again is a lovely beer, it is nice to look at although it seems to have toned down since the earlier version in colour, and in sourness, and in cherry notes. Does not make it a bad thing.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? The local Liquorland of course.
  • Am I enjoying it? yes it really did improve as it warmed
  • Would I have another? Yes
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Yes, this is quite the worthy beer that would probably really be enjoyed by sharing and discovering the unfolding merits of the fruitless and warmth this has.

Music for this:  Lana Del Ray – Did you know there’ a tunnel under Ocean Blvd. I’m sure there’s a reason for it, I just can’t figure it out.

Sour / Wild Beer – Flavored

The “Flavored Wild Beer” and the “Flavored Sour Beer” are catch-all styles for any beer with a clear flavoring element and 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. The base beer style becomes less relevant because the various yeast and bacteria tend to dominate the profile. It also features an harmonious marriage of the additive and beer, but still recognizable as a beer. The additive character should be evident but in balance with the beer. (For example: fruits, spices, herbs, vegetables, coffee, honey, chocolate, maple sirup, chilies, nuts, vanilla, liquor – BUT not including Smoked malt or barrel-aging element resulting from the brewing process). 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. This style also includes beers described as “Smoothie Sour” or “Milkshake Sour”, a kettle-sour beer which use unfermented whole fruit purée, and often lactose and fruit pectines, to achieve a beer with smoothie-like consistency.


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