The Power Of Sour

Sour beer is a wonderful, wonderful thing. The world of beer drinkers can generally be split into two groups when it comes to sour beer: those who love it, and those who don’t know they love it yet. Here at UnBarred, we absolutely love it! We love brewing it, we love talking about it, we love drinking it, and we love collaborating with others who feel the same as us… Brew York, Bird & Blend, Good Chemistry, Mash Gang, and now, Pastore!
‘I drank Limone at Manchester Craft Beer Festival - so bright and fresh.’ Jordan Mower, founder and Head Brewer at UnBarred mentions whilst we spoke about how this collab came to be. ‘The guys' passion for creativity and quality meant we hit it off and were speaking about a collab pretty soon after. Pastore, a family-run brewery founded in 2019 by father & son Chris & Ben Shepherd, are on a mission to create innovative sour and mixed fermentation beers - they live and breathe the style!  We’ve spoken a lot recently about why we collaborate with a major reason being the ability to learn from each other, and our most recent get together gave us both exactly that opportunity. So what happens when a brewery that lives the style, known for some of the best sours around at the moment, teams up with a brewery that’s well know for building flavour and pushing boundaries within the sour category?
Introducing Caribbean Berliner, a 6.5% Tamarind, Caramelised Lime, Ginger and Honey sour. A truly unique sour with a huge depth of flavour. Sweet, sour, rich and warm, it combines both the creativity and technical skill that both us and Pastore have become synonymous for. But how exactly did we come up with the concept? ‘I remember jumping on a Zoom call with Jordan and Brett from our side, along with Dan and Ben from Pastore, just to start talking about flavours and ideas’ Matt, Sales & Marketing Ambassador at UnBarred recalls. ‘We were obviously going to brew a sour, that wasn’t even a question! We went through a list of ideas and ingredients, and I mentioned that I’d recently got back from Mauritius where Tamarind is widely used. It’s a really intriguing ingredient, with both sweet and sour notes with a fruity and sometimes slightly acidic background. They use it in curries, in dessert, in cocktails - you name it! It’s so versatile! We decided to go down the cocktail inspired route as Pastore had been creating some great sours inspired by cocktails, and we went away to come up with some ideas for the recipe’. ‘Its an ingredient I had never worked with and we were all up for a challenge.’ adds Jordan. ‘The concept ideas ran from there, we researched all the different countries, foods and drinks tamarind is used in, and settled in the Caribbean! From there, our challenge was to get the balance right’.
Caribbean Berliner was technically challenging to make, with lots of ingredients all in different forms. For the lime additions, we added half-cut fresh fruit to the mash to help them caramelise so they brought a different layer of flavour, and then added zest into the boil with some lime juice added into the whirlpool. 55kg of tamarind also joined the fresh limes in the mash, imparting its unique sweet and sour notes early on in the process. Ginger, lime and honey blends were created by lead Brewer, Gary, in various different strengths and mixed in with the finished beer in what is an UnBarred tradition - with everyone tasting and giving feedback until the perfect mix is found.
Chris Shepherd, Pastore co-founder spoke about the process, from recipe development to the brew day, and commented ‘"Seeing how Jordan and the team approached the recipe design, their appreciation and care for the ingredients and their ideas for how to apply them to different parts of the brewing process, was fascinating and instructive. Both breweries make a mean sour, but it's amazing how differently we approach things. I came away from a great day in Brighton enthused with new ideas!" 
There’s an old Barbadian rhyme to remind us how to make the perfect drink for the warm weather which goes ‘’One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak. A dash of bitters and a sprinkle of spice, serve well chilled with plenty of ice’. Caribbean Berliner is the perfect summer drink, with layers upon layers of flavour, acidity and sweetness. It’s refreshing, very drinkable, but you very much know you’re drinking. It quenches your thirst, but makes you yearn for more. We think it’s the ultimate sour. What do you think?