Dark Saison. Barleywine. Double IPA. Cascadian Dark Ale. Remember the time when it felt like all Endeavour brewed was golden or pale ales?
The latest in the increasingly expansive range of one-off beers to come from the little brewpub in The Rocks is arguably their most confronting to date: a dark sour ale that’s something of a homage to Oud Bruins. At the best of times it’s a style of beer that polarises thanks to its inherent vinegar-like quality, yet once you get past the intense sourness much reward can be found.
As opposed to the classic Belgian Oud Bruins that go through the rigmarole of extended ageing, blending and bottle fermentation, Donker Zuur (apparently Dutch for “dark sour”) is just a straight-up kettle sour ale – the first they’ve done at Endeavour. You’ll find it’s a beer full of cherry – perhaps even sherry – and stewed fruit flavours that come through within a nicely rounded sweetness. There’s more depth to the malt than the classics of the style, a deliberate play by the brewers to bulk up the body and help keep the end product from being totally off limits to the uninitiated drinkers who make up the bulk of the brewpub’s clientele. To that end they reckon it’s a beer that needs about least three sips to decide if you really like: one for the shock value, two to get your head around and the third to decide if it’s your thing. It’s reasonable to imagine plenty of people still feeling it's too far from the familiar to get past that first taste, but that’s ok – it just leaves more for the rest of us sour minded folk.
- Sour ale