Cherry Bomb, Cherry Sour: new beer launching tomorrow
A tart, vibrant kettle soured beer that packs a punch of fresh cherry flavour. Discover how we made it here.
Our latest release Cherry Bomb takes its inspiration from Kriek lambic; a legendary (if a little divisive) Belgian beer style traditionally made by fermenting Morello cherries with lambic beer. The resulting beers are typically punchy, dry, and very very sour. For our take, we set out to make a much more approachable beer, softening its edges for a Wiper and True interpretation of the classic drink. We toned down the zing-factor and amped up the malt bill for a soft, gently tart drinking experience that still packs a fruity punch.
For the malt bill in Cherry Bomb we drew on learnings from one of our favourite repeat collaborations: Bristol Vice. Brewed several times with our pals at Left Handed Giant, both breweries have spent a long time working on the perfect combination of malts to play against the kettle soured gutsiness of a Berliner Weisse - and we’re really happy with where our research led us to. Blending equal quantities of barley (our beloved Extra Pale) and malted wheat provides a soft, smooth body and a full mouthfeel that we feel works really well in a tart beer, adding another dimension to the drinking experience. In Cherry Bomb, once we’d created this lovely rounded base we added a small amount of Palisade hops to the whirlpool. Renowned for their floral, herbal profile, we’ve found this American varietal works wonderfully with kettle soured beers, acting as an aromatic foil to the acidic edge of the style.
After its requisite Friday dose of lactobacillus (a type of lactic acid bacteria also found in yoghurt) at a cool 30 degrees, the beer then sours in the kettle over the weekend. Monday rolls around, and with it comes a swift boil and transfer into the fermentation vessel. At Wiper and True our house yeast is currently a traditional British ale blend which ferments cleanly, typically kicking off bright notes of pear drops and traditional cask ester flavours. We were really excited about how these yeast characteristics would interact with the fruitiness of the sour cherry we would introduce next, and the tartness introduced by the kettle souring method.
The final stage in the beer’s in-tank development was to introduce the fruit; we added 300 kilograms of sour cherry puree, ultimately giving a finished pH of 3.28. For Wiper and True, this is a heavily fruited beer; perhaps one of the fruitiest we’ve ever made at 81 grams of cherry per litre of beer. With roughly 8.1% of the overall recipe made up of cherry, the fermentation of the simple sugars in the fruit provides a definite tart edge, the dryness of which pairs beautifully with the full mouthfeel and sweet, malty backbone provided by the hefty quantities of wheat used in the grist.
Cherry Bomb isn’t a lip-puckering, eyebrow-raising sour; more a thirst-quenching, refreshing beer with a tart finish and a serious punch of cherry aroma and flavour. We hope that for sour sceptics it’ll be an approachable stepping stone into exploring the style, and that the more thoroughly indoctrinated sour beer drinkers will enjoy the carefully designed balance of the beer.
Cherry Bomb is available online today and at our Can Kiosk from Friday (25/02/2022). We have a very limited number of mixed Sour Beer tasting cases, complete with a special Sour Beer t-shirt. If you aren’t yet sure whether sour beers are for you, you can purchase single cans via Build a Box (online) or in real life at the Can Kiosk. The beer will also be pouring at our Taproom from this Friday - come and join us to taste it on draft.