The plan for this beer was to use mulberries from head brewer Rhys Lopez’s backyard tree. The budburst had set well and, as summer progressed, branches were dragged down with the increasing weight of the staining fruit. Yep, this was going to be a very cool beer addition.
But the chickens had a plan too. Not content with scraps and their usual feed, they slowly began taking an interest in the funny looking tree with sweet, deep purple fruit, and, by late summer, they had stripped it bare. There would be no Lopez fruit addition.
Defeated but otherwise still inspired to go ahead with the beer in his mind, Rhys instead gathered locally sourced, whole bunch mulberries and blueberries – and the result is visually stunning. So, thankfully, is the liquid.
The initial full, fruity confectionary vibe transitions to something earthy by mid-palate, with a muskiness, stem tannins and balanced acidity that positions this as a far more mature offering that most fruited sours. Indeed, if packaged in a clear bottle, the Pet-Nat crowd would be frothing over Imperial Sour, perhaps literally if carbonation and booze weight wasn’t as dialled in as it is here.
So, while the chickens won summer this time around, Otherside fans still have something to celebrate.