Just as a hoppy sour led us to Buxton a few days ago, it is a hoppy sour that leads us away. This is another Scandi-Buxton collaboration, this time with gypsy brewer extraordinaire To Øl.
It's brewed and bottled by To Øl at De Proef, as far as I can recall, though on Ratebeer it appears to be listed as being brewed by Buxton. Certainly, the kegged version of the beer imported to the U.S. by Shelton Bros. appears to be brewed in Derbyshire but I'm sticking to my guns and saying that this bottle is a To Øl/De Proef product, not least because of the fact that it came to the shop via Four Corners. I stand corrected; this is brewed and bottled by Buxton in Derbyshire, straight from the mouths of both horses.
Whatever the case, it came to me bearing good news; Sky Mountain Sour is yet another successful showcase of the sort of tongue-tingling sourness and juicy citrus hop character that makes hoppy sour beer such a winning combination. It starts off with pure squeezed lemon juice - a sour stab of citric acid and, hey!, hops! Nice! There are little dabs of sweet orange and lemon congregating at the finish but this too is washed away with the scouring sourness of lemon following through. Despite how often I've used the word 'sour' so far, is that it isn't aggressively or overpoweringly sour - this is bright friendly lemon we're talking about here, not stinky vinegar. Most importantly, it's squeaky clean everywhere else, standing on a functional and pleasant wheaty, gristy base without any of the coarse drawbacks of that sort of thing.
Another success story of the sour-hoppy arc. The perfect craft cliché? Perhaps. Should anybody care? Most certainly not.
Drink it if you see it. It's good, and it's a good deal gooder than many offerings from Scandi-Cool Tax* adherents To Øl.
*the Scandi-Cool Tax is a cool duty placed on products from Scandinavia directly proportionate to the level of coolness of the product (although, coming from Scandinavia, coolness levels are always through the roof). Whether or not the product is actually produced in a Scandinavian country is irrelevant; it is known that a phonecall from a Dane, Norwegian, Swede, Finn, or, in hard times, an Icelander, made to a brewer in any other part of the world, will activate the tax in regard to the beer(s) being produced in that brewery at the time of the phonecall. If the brewery is in Lochristi, the tax is permanently active and needs to be opted out of if a beer is being produced for a common-or-garden continental European. Nobody knows why, but we pay all the same.