Lynnbrooke – Sour Weisse
Sure, lagers and pilsners may be pretty widely accepted brews, and any beer fan worth his salt has very strong opinions on IPAs, but sours came out of nowhere and have this weird cult following. If you ask me they’re barely “beer” at all – they may fit the technical requirements but the flavor and mouthfeel really aren’t what I think of when I think of a nice beer. But hey, how can I turn down a beer trend to follow? And besides, I like really sour lemonades and always want something new for summer days.
The Brewer’s Pitch:
Lynnbrook is named after the family farm of Destihl’s founder. It’s brewed with wild yeast and has raspberry flavoring added- not the sticky sweet of many fruit beers but a milder, tart raspberry like the wild ones you find growing in brambles alongside country roads. Even the nose is rustic with hints of barnyard funk and coarse cheese. The beer is completely free of hops and bitterness to allow lactic sourness and raspberry tartness to play with lemon-yogurt elements, but the finish is sufficiently dry to cut through the remaining sweetness.
Lynnbrook is a lovely clear rose-gold with a fizzy, crackling white head that quickly vanishes. The nose is extremely faint and carries bare notes of sour lactic acid and a musty, stuffy haze. The beer is extremely light in body, so much so it feels even thinner than water and moves quickly across the tongue without coating it at all. The first thing that hits is the sourness, obviously – low and earthy, a wild-tasting sourness that settles in the back of the mouth. Hints of raspberry slowly develop through the middle of the beer, a true wild-berry flavor that is as astringent as it is juicy. The back end of the flavor sees the acid burn slowly fading from the palate even while it’s lingering in the throat, an almost heartburn-like sensation.
To the good – this beer advertises itself as capturing the taste of wild raspberries, and it does. I’ve picked a wild berry or two in my time, and they have a very specific sweet-tart taste that flavored foods tend to miss the mark on, going too sticky and syrupy. However, that real solid raspberry flavor is easily overwhelmed by the powerful sourness that this beer packs in. The berry taste plays peekaboo all through the glass and what you’re really getting is a lactic sour with some raspberry elements as opposed to a fruit beer. The promised dryness and citrus are likewise rather buried. It’s a decent beer and if you’re already a heartfelt sour fan I’m sure you’d enjoy it even more than I did.
The Bottom Line:
Trendy beer style? Rose gold hue? First it was hipsters with Hoptronix, now the brewers are catering to millennials.