It says something about the prevalence of sour beer styles coming our way over the past year or two that it's not often one comes along offering a new experience. But that's the case with this spring release from Hargreaves Hill, the latest in an ever-growing lineup of beers from the Yarra Valley brewery to make a feature of "wild" yeasts or bacteria in one way or another. It's not that they've done anything we've not seen in some way shape or form before – it's kettle soured, features a Belgian ale yeast strain and additions of both fruit and spice – but the way they come together means it stands a degree or two apart.
It has the look of a witbier – a cloudy, pale white gold colour that's not far off opaque – in which the soft, spicy cardamom dominates the aroma. The apricots (whole and nectar) contribute a tangy fruitiness while the souring process has produced cleansing and drying qualities, with a citric acidity that's bracing without being in any way funky helping deliver a beer that slides over the palate rather more refreshingly than one of its size has any right to, and should satisfy those on the eternal search for subtly new experiences.
- Belgian Apricot Sour
- 25 IBU