October is a month that encompasses both change and the need for greater balance and stability.
The drawing in of the nights, colder, wetter days, and leaves fading to ochre then red, signifies the turning of the seasons; a welcoming in of beers enjoyed by roaring log fires instead of in beer gardens or sunlit parks. And it’s time to pull those flannel shirts you’ve been dreaming about wearing for the last couple of months to the front of the wardrobe again. Glory be.
As the seasons change, so do our needs and our behaviours. The time for heirloom tomato salads is at an end – now we eat stew, and figure out how we support each other and ourselves through what will undoubtedly be a dark and frustrating winter. Finding balance will help us with this.
It’s an intense period of change for me, too. After 15 years in the capital, at the start of October I relocated to Manchester, in search of new perspectives on life and cheaper rent. Excitingly, this is the first thing I’ve written at my new desk, and I can’t wait to see how a fresh viewpoint on life influences my work. First though, I too need to find a bit of stability after such an upheaval.
Beer, as ever, is the answer. A fridge full of familiar favourites and a few new and exciting cans give me both a good reason to switch off and to focus on something I love. Today’s beer is the latter, a beer from a highly rated brewery that had so far eluded my grasp, Pastore Brewing and Blending of Waterbeach, near Cambridge.
Pastore, as the name suggests, focuses on sour, wild and mixed fermentation beers. This particular beer, the playfully named Tropicale Acido (which instantly has me thinking of sweaty dance floors and squelching 303-basslines), is an all-out blast of fun, packaged in an intensely enjoyable sour. Fermented with the Hornindal strain of Kveik (you can learn more about Kveik by reading HB&B’s resident Kveik expert Claire Bullen’s amazing Good Beer Hunting article) and loaded with 250 grams per litre of passion fruit, mango, guava and papaya, Tropicale straddles the line between rum punch and alcoholic Rubicon.
While at first the sourness thumps harder than an acid house kickdrum, a few sips will allow your palate to adjust and get your head around the bouncy fruit flavours. If you love sour beers, this beer will be up your street and then some. Aciiiid!
Matthew Curtis is a writer, photographer and editor of Pellicle Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis and @pelliclemag. Sign up to our All Killer No Filler subscription box and you'll find incredible beers like this every month plus more great writing from Matthew and our food writer Claire Bullen...