For their fifth birthday, Helios put out their first sour beer in cans, and decided to go with something suitably playful. With tart mulberries and a whole bunch of lemon myrtle leaves that head brewer Jake Harrison harvested from a tree at his home, this beer brings a flavour combo I hadn’t tried before.* (You can hear Jake talk through the process of getting the flavour profile in this video.)
Complex mulberry sweetness wafts into the nose and hits the tongue with that initial sourness (which is quite gentle), but then politely moves over to make way for the lemon myrtle. Lemon myrtle is a tricky one to describe; it’s obviously named for its citrusy note, with an element of lemon zest, but there’s also a minerality and a herbal dryness in there too. It’s a less obvious flavour to match with sourness, but one that works well.
This beer isn’t half pleasant on the eye, either. A cap of white foam sits atop a reddish-purple pour, though the Helios crew describes it as magenta – they think they’re sooooo special just ‘cause they know all the colour words.**
To be fair, I’ve only had lemon myrtle in two or three beers before. But it was always good.
It turns out Viva Magenta is Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2023, so Helios were actually kind of prescient with this one.*
Published January 7, 2023 2023-01-07 00:00:00