I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!

Inspiration can hit you at any moment. You can stare at a blank screen for hours waiting for an idea to hit you, an exciting project to get your teeth into. Sometimes, though, it can be pretty easy. In our last blog we spoke about how Honeycomb Milkshake came to be, how three friends sitting around a pub table and chatting about fun ideas for a beer spawned into one of the longest continuous beers that UnBarred have worked on to date.
Cherry Garsour isn’t all that different. Friends, with mutual respect and values, that have had some great times together over the years. We always bump into Amundsen at festivals and have the best time, sharing each other's beers and laughing. A collab has been long on the cards and it makes sense given our styles and how we both like to build flavours, especially with dessert in mind. Although it took some time to make the first collaboration happen with life and various other things getting in the way, when we actually nailed down a timeline, the concept came quite easily. ‘It was really a no-brainer to go with a sour’ Amundsen’s Matt Arens recalls. ‘The time of year was right, both UnBarred and Amundsen know their way around the style and there's just so much room to explore with a solid, clean sour base beer. We knew we wanted to incorporate a pastry element to this beer, and after knocking a couple ideas around, our direction became pretty clear. We were going to set off on trying to reimagine a delicious pint of ice cream as a fruited sour. Naming no names, we took our inspiration from a cult classic and set off figuring out how to do it!’
And from that, Cherry Garsour was born.
But how did the beer progress from concept to glass, how do you make a cherry, chocolate and fudge ice cream sour? The base of the beer is something we here at UnBarred are very well versed with, our signature Berliner Weisse base. You’ll be familiar with it if you’ve tried some of our pastry sours before, it’s a style that has got us a huge following all over the country and has led to collaborations at many other breweries, such has the Honeyberry Pie with Brew York. It’s not just over here that we’re well known for our sours either…. ‘We opted with Unbarred's tried and true souring method, which imparts a refreshing, clean lactic twang, without being so acidic so as to distract from the pastry concept’ Matt continued. ‘Balance of all the elements at play is key to pulling this concept off’.
With the base beer sorted, the balancing act commenced. As the name of the beers suggest, there was a huge amount of flavour to pack in from lots of different ingredients. Cherries, chocolate, fudge, the ice cream element… building the beer with all these elements is a fantastic challenge for the brewers, one that they love getting stuck into. Let’s look a little into how they did it.
First up, the cherries. With our sour base brewed, it was about locking in the cherry flavour.  A generous addition of cherry puree, around 800kg in 3,000 litres of beer, locked in that flavour of jammy cherry preserves, while also lending a beautifully saturated, deep red hue to the beer. Pretty straight forward, right? And here came the tricky bit…
The chocolate and fudge ice cream elements are really what make this beer unique, what brought home the concept and set a fruited sour aside from what we set out to achieve. ‘From there it was about dialling in our accent and top notes to really bring the concept home’ Jordan says. ‘Additions of chocolate to add that depth of character and vanilla to provide bright top notes play together to make a beer that is at once both a dessert and a refreshingly drinkable beer. Have any one element out of synch and the concept might not hit the mark’.
It would be at this point that we’d go over tasting notes, the experience of drinking the beer, but we’re pretty confident that at this point you’ve got a great idea. Cherry Garsour was launched with great fanfare alongside two tap takeovers with Amundsen, one at our brewery in Brighton and Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green before being showcased a London Craft Beer Festival, the largest of its kind in the UK with around 15,000 people and the feedback says it all. ‘Rich, cherry, choccy, creamy, velvety deliciousness’ and ‘creamy, not too tart or sweet, perfectly balances’ are just a few of the comments we’ve had and continue to come in each day. This beer was a real pleasure to brew with our friends at Amundsen and it’s a real pleasure to see if being enjoyed each day since.
Any last words, Matt? ‘Working together with the team at UnBarred and having mapped out an approach together, we knew the brew was in good hands. And having tried the beer, we can tell you that we did it! Does what it says on the tin’.