Vibrant Forest / Affinity Brew Co Grizzly Pear (440ml can, 4.3% ABV, vegan)

‘You’ve got to go outside your comfort zone!’ That’s what people say, isn’t it? But there’s a perverse part of me that wonders how good this sort of advice is. No matter how exciting it might be, I’m still not prepared to play Russian roulette or wrestle with a bear.

I’ll try drinking a sour instead.

Although an increasingly fashionable sector of the market, I’ve always struggled with sour beers. They’re not a new style, but one resurrected from various traditional styles historically on the continent.

Grizzly Pear is a collaboration between Vibrant Forest and Affinity. It’s based on the old German beer style known as ‘gose’, produced in the town of Goslar since the 13th century. The list of ingredients is long for a beer and, as well as the usual suspects, includes wheat malt, pear, gooseberry, coriander and salt.

In the glass it’s a hazy yellow with white, bubble bath foam. It smells and tastes distinctly of pear drops. There’s almost no discernable hop character, and the malt is really just a base for the explosion of pear flavour and the lip-puckering gooseberry tartness. The finish is short and very crisp.

Am I converted? Not really, but it’s good to challenge yourself every once in a while. And if you like sour flavours, this is one grizzly you might want to wrestle.

Written by Richard Salsbury

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