Brew Review – Here Plums The Sun by 81Bay Brewing

To say there is ‘a lot’ going on with 81Bay’s Here Plum The Sun (Sour Ale, 5% ABV) is a bit of an understatement. By a lot, actually. It’s a very busy beer.

Plums tops the list of ingredients, for obvious reasons. It’s in the name, and the previous name for the beer, Winter is Plumming. To that, they added cinnamon, vanilla, and lactose. Okay, so we’re going a bit Christmas-y here. That’s perfectly fine.

Then they added coffee. Okay, it’s a bit in left field, and it throws the holiday thing a bit askew, but I’m still with them.

Then it was kettle soured. And that didn’t make sense to me at all. Until I tasted it, of course.

It has a great color, with a pink so vibrant that it fully masks everything swirling around inside. That should have been my first clue that my expectation the coffee, vanilla, lactose wasn’t as all-controlling as I would assume.

The sourness is really what carries the beer. It has a tantalizing tartness that takes those plums and jacks them up to 1,000 volts. Are the adjuncts there? Yes, but just in touches. The cinnamon, oddly enough, works the best with the sourness, grounding it slightly while giving the bold beer and interesting spiciness.

The lactose and vanilla didn’t smooth the beer out as much as gave a creamsicle-like foundation to enjoy as well. The coffee is very faint, and tends to arrive when your tongue has recovered from the sourness a bit.

It’s a fun beer and quite the popular one, as the 4-pack release during Tampa Bay Beer Week was very well attended. I wasn’t there for that, but I was happy to finally find and sample this incredibly unique, unexpected beer.

No matter what name it had.

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