Hello Sour Beer Friends!
Over the holidays I had a chance to sit down with fellow site author Cale Baker and taste our first beer from Trinity Brewing Company of Colorado Springs, CO. Jason Yester, Trinity’s president and head brewer, opened the small, environmentally conscious brewery in 2008. While Trinity offers a wide range of styles primarily for on-site consumption, Yester focuses much of his brewing on the production of saisons and barrel aged sour beers. The complex fermentations using multiple strains of both yeast and bacteria that produce these beers are of special interest to Yester, who earned an undergraduate degree in micro-biology from Colorado College. In addition to being recognized for its excellent sour beers and saisons, the multi-GABF medal winning brewery makes it a mission to produce beer using environmentally friendly and sustainable methods. If you would like to learn more about Trinity Brewing and their beers, check out Jason Yester’s entertaining and educational interview on The Brewing Network.
Trinity’s 7-Day Golden Sour is a sour blond ale brewed with Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces. This beer, which is not barrel aged, uses both a fast souring kettle process and further souring in the stainless fermenters to achieve a high degree of clean lactic sourness in a short period of time. There was no bottling date on the packaging, so I’m not sure how long the beer may have aged before tasting, but I found the beer to be in great condition. This may have been aided by the fact that all of Trinity’s bottled beers are coated in beeswax to help prevent oxidation. The beer is a light golden color and poured crystal clear with a bright white head.
The first aromas we detected were of light lactic acid and the classic mustiness associated with Lactobacillus. These gave way to farmyard Brettanomyces aromas. We picked up light notes of leather and bile as well as a heavier goatiness that reminded us of some Drie Fonteinen gueuze blends. Lastly, there were subtle fruit aromas of melon and melon rind.
Trinity’s 7-Day Golden Sour lives up to its name by being an intensely sour beer. The souring profile was made up strongly of lactic acid without any detectable acetic acid (vinegar). After becoming sensitized to the beer’s acidity, we noticed that there was a noticeable mineral taste in the water profile. This minerality bordered on lightly salty, and reminded us of the water profile found in mild examples of the Gose style. 7-Day Golden Sour tastes a lot like a simplified version of a Belgian gueuze. The beer had a lemony character and light leather and hay Brettanomyces flavors associated with the gueuze style. On the other hand, it did not feature any of the tannic grain astringency, cheesy hop flavors, or ethyl acetate bite found in many gueuzes. 7-Day Golden Sour had a light body with high carbonation and a very dry finish that was crisp and refreshing. There were no detectable hop flavors. Lastly, there were no detectable off-flavors such as diacetyl (butter), DMS (cooked corn), or oxidation (cardboard / stale crackers). Additionally we didn’t taste any presence of butyric acid (vomit / rancid milk) or isovaleric acid ( parmesan / stinky feet), two problematic off-flavors that can occur when producing fast-soured beers.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed drinking Trinity’s 7-Day Golden Sour. The beer was pleasantly sour with a refreshing mineral profile and dry finish. The Brett and Lacto flavors present added a nice layer of complexity and reminded me a lot of certain gueuze blends. Visitors to the Colorado Springs area should not miss out on the chance to check out Trinity Brewing Company. I will definitely be keeping a lookout for more of Jason Yester’s sour offerings in the future!
Matt “Dr. Lambic” Miller