Sourness Is In the Mouth of the Beholder

by Jim Lundstrom

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a couple weeks now. I was going to try it a while back but was distracted by caribou.

After performing nearly a full shift of chores around the house on a recent Saturday, I felt I had earned a sit down in the glorious March afternoon sun with this bottle of 2016 La Folie, a sour brown ale in the Lips of Faith Series from New Belgium Brewing.

Wow! That’s damn near dill pickle sour! And dill pickle happens to be one of my favorite flavors. One of my favorite salad dressings is mayo jazzed up with salt, pepper, whatever herbs are around, and a couple tablespoons of dill pickle juice. I’ve taken to adding pickle juice to various meats as they fry in the cast iron. The pickle juice jazzes things up nicely.

But I joke when I compare this to pickle juice. This is just such a pleasantly sour and mindpuckering beer that my new favorite flavoring comes to mind. Green grapes might come first to your mind, or maybe green apples. It’s that kind of sour. A natural sour.

The sour is enlivening in my mouth, which makes it feel, as the receptor of this brown nectar, like my most important organ. I can almost hear it taunting my brain. Hah, brain, you may be in charge, but I’m the one tasting this! Dummy!

The thing is, somewhere in the middle of that sourness is a tiny sweet bomb of malt flavor. And a substantial chewiness.

Yes, this is living! Being able to kick back and drink this amazing beer pulls everything into alignment, at least for this wonderful moment.

According to the label, “this Flanders-style reddish brown ale was aged 1-3 years in French oak barrels for mouthpuckering perfection.”

I wholeheartedly concur.

Oh, by the way, La Folie means The Folly. This is a Folly that should be shared.