A big, pink squishy sour and a double stout with smoked chiles

by Chevy Impola

Bubbles, pink bubbles, everywhere.

This is one cheery-looking beer, with its big pink head and rosy hue.
This can was sitting all by its lonesome at the liquor store. It looked so lonely, and who could walk away from a blackberry, raspberry and coconut sour called Super Squishy? Not me.

It’s from what sounds like a pleasingly oddball brewery by the name of Oliphant in beautiful downtown Somerset, Wis., inner tubing capital of the world.

Unfortunately, before cracking this unusual beer open, I did not read the label, which says, “for an optimal tasting experience, gently roll can for 30 seconds before pouring in a glass.”

Geez, I hope I didn’t screw up my experience by not gently rolling the can for 30 seconds before pouring, but it was in a backpack and I rode my bike to pick it up, so, maybe everything’s OK.

This 5% sour ale is, as the title states, made with blackberries, raspberries and coconut, but what the title does not tell you is that there is also lactose (milk sugar) vanilla and sea salt.

Hmmm. I got the berries, most definitely. And the coconut added a somewhat funky, but most welcome, note to the proceedings. I’m usually sensitive to vanilla flavoring (it’s not one of my favorite flavors, especially in beer), but I did not get any here, nor did I notice a hint of sea salt.

However, this is a wonderful berried-up sour – refreshing and pink as Cold Duck (or am I remembering Cold Duck wrong – it’s been a while). And what a head!

A pleasant burn on my lips and tongue, I take another sip of El Guerrero.  Yowzer! That’s a big bruiser of a stout.

El Guerrero – Spanish for Warrior – is a Chilean double stout brewed with honey, coffee and merken.

Yeah, I know, what the hell is merken?

I guess that’s why I picked up this four-pack of 16-ouncers – it’s not often I’m stumped on a beer ingredient.

According to spicesinc.com, merken is a traditional spice blend of the Mapuche, the indigenous folk of Chile, that consists of goat’s horn chiles, smoked paprika, sea salt and coriander.

Yeah, I know, what the hell’s a goat horn chile?

Well, I’m not going there right now.

Let me have another sip of this fascinating double stout from Bent Brewstillery of Roseville, Minn.  In additoin to the pleasant burn of the merken, there is a hefty, delicious helping of chocolate and espresso.

But, oh, that burn!