Magic Hat’s Steven Sour — Beer Review
Bitterness and tartness battle for supremacy
Today on The Daily Meal
This November, Magic Hat Brewing Co. teamed up with fellow Burlington brewers (and Vermont craft beer pioneers) Vermont Pub & Brewery to celebrate the latter’s 25th anniversary. The result is Steven Sour, an interesting take on a sour IPA brewed with passion fruit juice.
Steven Sour pours a cloudy orange/yellow color, with a two-finger head that lingers. It has a floral aroma with hints of lemon rind and pink grapefruit, as well as a bready, yeasty component. The smell certainly gives away that this is a sour beer!
The flavors are aggressive. Apollo, Bravo, and Cascade hops provide a dominating bitterness, with grapefruit prevailing. The passion fruit juice is somewhat obscured by the hoppiness, but it’s interaction with the yeast is presumably where the sharp tartness comes from. There’s a grassy overtone to the beer, with plenty of orange and apricot as well. It’s a dry beer with moderate carbonation, not too thick and it goes down easy.
Overall, Steven Sour is a neat attempt to combine two of the dominating beer styles in American craft beer. Despite being both aggressively bitter and sour, the result is a smooth beer that would be great sipping on a summer day. Perhaps some wood aging could provide a bridge between the two flavors and balance it out, but kudos to Magic Hat and VPB for trying something new and pulling it off.
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