The worlds of craft beer and hard cider are colliding as Resurgence Brewing Company and Cider Creek Hard Cider have teamed up once again, this time for Sour Is Love, a kettle soured cherry Berliner Weisse, which arrives just in time for Valentine’s Day on February 12.
Kickstart the romantic weekend with a glass of Sour Is Love, which was brewed with 60/40 pilsner to wheat malt and blended with apple cider, tart cherry juice and fermented with three different yeast strains (Brettanoymyces, Saison, & Bavarian Wheat Yeast), by sharing a pint with your loved one, or drown your sorrows all by your lonesome. It works either way.
Resurgence’s resident Beer Baron Dave Collins, one half of the collaborative team behind the new brew alongside Cider Creek’s Kevin Collins, says that the initial idea for Sour Is Love was born back around the time their first collaboration, All the King’s Men Smoked Cider Saison, was brewed. Collins said that they actually conceived the idea for Sour Is Love first, but, due to timing, they shelved the idea.
“We actually thought of the idea for Sour Is Love back then,” Collins said. “But that was back in the middle of fall and we thought that this would make for a really good Valentine’s Day beer, cause it’s pink and it’s sour and a lot of people are sour about Valentine’s Day, so we tabled it until now.”
For Sour Is Love, Collins started with a base kettle sour beer before cider and tart cherry juice were added. The new beer also contains an ingredient you might not expect – plain organic Greek yogurt from Wegmans – which Collins said he added during the brewing process as a unique source for bacteria.
“I brewed seven barrels of a kettle sour and started it on a Saturday morning while there a session of morning yoga going on at the brewery.” Sadly for those wondering, Collins did not take part in the yoga session. “I’m not really into yoga, even though I’m sure it’s good for me.”
“What you do is extract all the oxygen out,fill the kettle with CO2 and cool it down to 110 degrees, which is where lacto wants to live (‘It’s anaerobic so you can’t have any oxygen in there,’ he added). After I cooled it down to 110 I bubbled CO2 through and once I was confident the entire kettle was filled with that CO2, I pitched in the Greek yogurt, which has four different organic lactobacillus cultures.”
After the beer was transferred into the fermenter, the cherry cider was added and the beer/cider concoction was fermented together. From there, a Saison Brett yeast strain (cultured at Cider Creek) and Wit Ale yeast (cultured at Resurgence) was added to the brew.
The final product is an approachable Berlinner and an easy drinking sour, one that appeals to both fans of cider and sour beers. Collins expounded a bit on exactly what you can expect when you order up some Sour Is Love.
“It’s nice and tart and has a great acidity to it. The kettle sour character and the lactobacillus give you a really nice tartness on the side of your tongue. You can expect a sour tart cherry flavor, bright carbonation and a nice body and mouthfeel. It also has a lot of puckering tartness to it. Really, in all honesty, it’s what you would expect a cherry cider Berlinner Weisse would taste like.”
As far as the heft of the beer, Collins says, “it should be around 6 percent because the cider is pretty much completely fermentable. My beer was close to 4.5 percent and when you add the cider in, it brings up the ABV.”
Plans also call for a barrel-aged version. Three kegs of Sour Is Love were set aside and will be placed into a Buffalo Trace Sour Mash Barrel, obtained by Kevin, for future enjoyment.
As far as future collaborations between the Collins’ boys from Resurgence and Cider Creek, Collins said that one is already in the works.
“For what we are calling All the King’s Horses, we took some of our The Don Imperial Saison, aged it in Elijah Craig barrels and added some of Cider Creek’s cider and re-fermented it with Brett, so it is going to be super weird.” That creation currently lives at Cider Creek, but Collins said that it will be bottled and available at Resurgence in the future.
You can drink your fill of Sour Is Love when it is released on Friday, February 12 at Resurgence. The taps will begin flowing at 4pm. And for those of you looking for a great idea for a road trip, Sour Is Love will also be tapped the following day, Saturday, February 13, at Cider Creek in Canisteo, New York.