Most beers are good to drink in warm weather… but some beers were born for it. Blackberry Sour is one of these beers. It was originally released as a summer seasonal, but in time it became clear that cooler weather wasn’t stopping punters from wanting to drink this fruited sour, so Aether brought it into the core range.
The pour of Blackberry Sour isn’t the dark purple of the fresh Tasmanian blackberry puree that was added to the brew (or of the cosmic tapestry pictured on the can). Instead, the combination of the blackberries and the classic light gold of the Berliner weisse make for an opaque deep pink – think ruby grapefruit juice shot through with just a touch of purple. The fluffy white head gives a waft of berry tang to the nose, before dissipating and inviting you to venture further.
The taste brings on a flurry of nostalgic memories of childhood. The fizziness: Fruit Tingles tingling away on your tongue. The sharp tartness: berries picked and gobbled after school, causing you to pull a face before going back for more. The sourness: berry Warheads going to work on your middle palate and making your mouth water. The acidity: Wizz Fizz sherbet, shared with friends and yet still in abundance.
Finally, the lingering aftertaste is a slow transition from the tartness of the berries to a subtle breadiness from the wheat, reminding you that this is in fact a Berliner weisse, not a portal to your 12-year-old self. The malts keep the beer well-balanced, so the blackberry is never overpowering, and yet they’re the main thing you remember after the fact.
Refreshing and palate-cleansing. Best consumed at a barbecue on a stinking hot summer’s day. Or, you know, on a cool night gazing at the uncountable stars and feeling the weight and wonder of the vastness of the universe.