From what I have been told, this is the beer of Sanford.
To the point where the brewers themselves readily admitted on socials that everything else on tap is a consolation prize whenever they run out of this on tap at the brewery.
Sanford has a lot of breweries, and there are plenty of breweries in the surrounding area, but I have this knowledge on good cognizance. It comes courtesy of my friends at the Sanford Brew Crew, notably husband and wife Jamie and Jennifer Beck.
It was Jamie actually who mentioned the beer several times, the strangest amalgamation of flavors I’ve ever seen listed in a single beer. And being the absolutely lovely human beings that they are, they sent it to me in a pack of all sorts of fun things that I cannot wait to crack open.
But, after such glowing reviews and intense curiosity, the first beer I had to crack open was Sourmanjaro (Sour ale, 5.1% ABV).
They were even so kind as to send me the awesome Sanford pint glass to drink it in.
So what is Sourmanjaro? It’s a coffee sour Blonde ale.
You read that right. They took a blonde ale, conditioned it on African coffee beans, and then kettle soured it for one of the most amazing flavor experiences I have ever had.
The moment you crack the can, the coffee comes first. You definitely smell that you opened a coffee beer. It’s not as intense as a bold espresso stout, but you know there’s coffee in this.
There’s no getting away from it, and it’s strange to see a beer that’s as light and straw-colored as this that has such a big coffee aroma.
When you taste it, it’s remarkable what they’ve done. The body is light and fluffy, with a very simple malt bill that knows it’s there for the adjuncts. The sourness of the beer is moderate, noticeable with little electric pops of lemon.
The sourness gives way slightly to some of the coffee notes, which have a solid and deep Arabica quality to them but is not necessarily as strong as the aroma. There’s a bit of cocoa, there’s a bit of earthiness, and it’s an interesting springboard for that kettle conditioning.
This is not a beer that should work. This is not a beer that looks appetizing for anybody but the most insane and adventurous beer drinkers. But it works so amazingly well that I can understand the very fervent fan base this beer has created.
Is it something that can be consumed multiple times in a session? Actually, yes. It is flavorful and refreshing and very sessionable, things I never thought I would say for a sour beer or a coffee beer, most definitely a sour coffee beer. The fact that this is so popular is a testament to whatever craziness goes on in Sanford and it’s the impetus for me to get out to the Celery City to get some more.
And yes, if I go I will definitely let the Sanford Brew Crew know I’m coming, and will probably have to be tucked in at the bar once they are finished with me.
Drink Florida Craft,
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