The name of the brewery should clue you in to this beer’s heritage. Haandbryggeriet is a Norwegian house that’s making all sorts of styles right now, from breakfast beers and Norse Porters to Scottish Gruits, Wild Ales and this sweet and sour. I picked up the bottle for about $10 from my local beer hag, so let’s give it a go.
Appearance: Pours a hazy dark honey/light copper with a decent head. Nothing spectacular, but not bad at all.
Smell: Plenty of lactic and bret sourness going on. Some citrus, some light acidity, definite malt, and wood.
Taste: Hmm. Combination of barnyard funk and strange acidity. Vinegar-y overtones and some strange other acidity that’s not identifiable, but smells as if I’d have it in my locked cabinet in the garage. Definite citrus and bret sours come through, but nothing over the top. I’d prefer a bit more sour. Where does the “sweet” part of sweet and sour come in? Pretty oaky, but the sourness balances it out and the 7.5% ABV is not an issue.
Overall: Interesting beer. Would I drink this again? Yes, for sure. Would I pay $10 for it again? Likely not. This is a great beer for someone getting into sours and trying to figure out what they like…it’s a good example of a sour that’s been barrel aged a bit too long.