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Belt’s Beer Garden: Tart of Darkness

Two sour beers - Bearded Iris’ Hologram & Drekker’s PRRRTs These Days

Today I have some sour beers with some amazing additions to them. One of which is a Sour Patch Kids sour ale!!! In fact, let’s start there because I looove Sour Patch Kids.

Drekker Brewing Co. was founded in January of 2014 in Fargo, North Dakota – which makes the Sioux State the 48th state featured on Belt’s Beer Garden (just Rhode Island and West Virginia to go)!

Drekker is currently available in just three states – both Dakotas and Minnesota – but has an impressive tap list of 28 beers currently (10 hoppy brews, eight dark beers, eight sours, and two lighter options)

They want to “unleash the Viking” in all of us and, to do so, they have created some awesomely unique brews in their PRRRT series, like After School PRRRT (a sour made with Gushers and Fruit by the Foot), PRRRTY Pebbles (a milkshake IPA made with Fruity Pebbles), and the beer I have for you today – PRRRTs These Days.

PRRRTs These Days is a sour ale brewed with massive amounts of Sour Patch Kids and then, for good measure, they added lemon, lime, orange, raspberry, pink guava, and sea salt. Packed inside all that fruit and candy is a 5% ABV. Each can cost me $8 through Tavour but, if you’re close to the source, it’ll be cheaper.

The beer poured a dark pink color with some moderate sediment floating around; reminding me of ruby red grapefruit juice. There was very little head that accumulated, just a razor thin line of white bubbles around the edge of the glass.

On the nose, PRRRT smelled super tart. Behind the tartness was a sugary, sweet aroma with notes of lemon, raspberry, and guava. The Sour Patch Kids weren’t too evident in the smell, just adding a touch of gumminess to it.

My first sip started with an incredibly tart fizzle. Raspberry and lemon burst across my tongue with pink guava and orange following closely behind. There is a small pop of salinity, as the sea salt briefly cuts into the sourness.

The Sour Patch Kids really make their mark on the backend. About midway through there is a sugary, gummy flavor that gave off the flavor of a red Sour Patch Kid.

From there, the beer begins to slowly fade away and the lemon and guava flavors pop back up for one last tart burst.

It then finished clean, with no sticky residue or dryness and just a tiny tart prickle lingering for a moment or two after everything else.

Sadly, the candy wasn’t as pronounced as I was hoping for – just appearing for a few moments in the middle. But this was still a really tasty sour ale.

It was super sessionable and the addition of the different fruits really made for a great tasting brew. The Sour Patch Kids did add that light gumminess and sweetness that sliced into the sour aspect of the brew but, again, I wish I got more from them.

All in all, I can’t wait to see what Drekker comes up with next. They have some imaginative guys working to make some tasty brews. This included.

Next I have a heavily fruited imperial sour from one of Tennessee’s best breweries - Bearded Iris.

Bearded Iris is no stranger to Belt’s Beer Garden, making it’s fourth appearance (and first since March of last year). The Nashville brewery has made quite the name for themselves by crafting some of the best hazy IPAs this country has seen.

But, recently, they have expanded their reach to more than just juicy IPAs. Over the past few years they have been producing some great dark beers and some amazing sours.

Today I have one of the later brews, a new sour beer of theirs – Hologram.

Hologram is an imperial fruited sour brewed with black currant, blueberries, orange zest, lactose, and vanilla. Each pint has a whopping 8.5% ABV and a four-pack will set you back around $16.

Pouring an opaque, dark pink – almost crimson – color, Hologram had burst of fizz to it that allowed for nearly two fingers of pink hued bubbles to rise to the top. However, almost immediately, the head receded and there was nothing left atop the brew.

The beer had a slightly tart aroma that was backed up with some fruity notes – the black currant and blueberries leading the charge. Some lactose added a hint of sweetness but not too much and it seemed like it would remain hidden underneath the other additives.

Within a second of my first sip, I felt my mouth begin to pucker from an early sour rush. After a moment (or two), the tartness slowly began to recede and the other flavors were allowed to come forward.

The blueberries and black currant hit with a tangy zip while the orange zest brought notes of citrus to the beer. This sour is very fruit-centric and, for the majority of each swig, it’s these flavors that swarmed over my taste buds.

Towards the backend the lactose and vanilla emerged to add a sugary sweet quality that blended well with the fruits and eliminated any remaining tartness.

Hologram ended with a touch of dryness and with a stickiness from the lactose that lingers on for a little while after.

However, as I continued through the can, the sour surge at the beginning gets lighter and lighter, making the second half of the can much more palatable and fruit-focused.

Overall, this is a pretty tasty beer (but that’s to be expected when drinking anything by Bearded Iris). It’s both sweet and sour with the fruit adding a nice tang in the middle. And that higher ABV is hidden completely. If anything, it might just be a little too sweet on the finish.

But, outside of that, it’s damn fine sour.

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