Not every brewery can get on board with a barrel program. They’re expensive, unpredictable and take up space that could be jammed full of tanks full of three-week-old DDH hazy IPAs. But Newstead Brewing Co have been developing their barrel program for a few years now, and have a couple of releases ready. Say hello to Zoo V.8 Golden Sour.
Usually when we write these listings, there’s one or two cool things about the beer to focus on but with this one, where do we start? So this is a 8.6 percent ABV beer brewed with 50 percent oats, inoculated with Pediococcus and the Newstead house culture, aged in chardonnay barrels for 18 months and then put into cans? What fresh hell is this?!
I know what you’re all thinking - I wish I knew more about the etymology of Pediococcus! Is it called that because it makes things smell like feet? Well, it does but it isn’t. The word is derived from pedium which refers to the organism reproducing along a plane which just happens to also be the word used for the plantar surface of the foot. I am 100 percent convinced that it brings a lovely footishness to food and drink, though, and this is a hill I will happily die on.
That brings me to the actual tasting notes. First thing I picked out from having a big old whiff is the slight sweaty feet note which frankly, I love (do not @ me). On the palate there is a noticeable buttery creaminess, vanilla oak and sweet honeyed malts that absolutely coats your entire mouth. There’s also lemon and that bretty-pineapple tartness that finishes exceptionally dry and slightly prickly. The relatively high ABV is hidden well amongst the funk and the end result is an intensely complex sour beer that is surprisingly easy to drink.
- Barrel-Aged Golden Sour