To me, smaller liquor stores are always a gamble. Obviously, the size of the store prohibits a massive selection, and much of the time, I’ll walk out of a place carrying a six pack of something I’ve had dozens of times before. Sometimes, however, due to some diligent distribution guy, I’ll find something I haven’t seen before anywhere else. It was a lazy Friday night, and I was cooking dinner. Throughout the day, I was having a hankerin’ for some kind of sour beer, so I walked into my local hole-in-the-wall liquor store with very low expectations. However, almost immediately, I found them: sitting right in front of me, a six pack of Sour Apricot by Dry Dock. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not a fan of fruit beers, but Dry Dock’s Apricot Blonde, the beer that their Sour Apricot is based on, is delicious. That one is tart, crisp, sweet, and just so damn good, and it definitely deserves its own review on RMBR. Seeing this brand new one from Dry Dock, I knew I had my beer for the evening.
Sour Apricot: The Basics
- Brewery: Dry Dock Brewing Company (Aurora, CO)
- Style: Soured American Blonde Ale (with fruit adjuncts)
- ABV: 5%
Sour Apricot: The Details
As I said before, the Sour Apricot is based on Dry Docks’ wildly popular Apricot Blonde. However, the sour variant is kettle soured, which is a fancy way to say the brewers pitched some lactobacillus into the wort. This beer actually poured with a beautiful beige head, but it dissipated about as fast as the foam from a soft drink (the picture on the right was taken about 20 seconds after the initial pour). Maybe this has something to do with the lacto and apricot puree in the beer, but I doubt it. On the nose, this one has that familiar apricot and yeast scent of the Blonde, with maybe the slightest funkiness to it. The flavor? Holy cow. This beer, in my opinion, is what all fruit beer aspires to be (a title held previously by the Apricot Blonde). It’s the perfect mix of fruity sweetness and tangy sour. Like, imagine a perfectly ripe apricot sprinkled with some lemon juice. To me, the lemony sour flavor in the Sour Apricot actually accentuates the sweetness from the apricot puree. In the background, this beer has a nice, subtle malty profile, with exactly zero hop characteristic. I’m happy about that, because I feel like any bitterness from any hops would just take away from the delicate balance in this beer. Beyond that, it has a very light mouthfeel, and is very thin, despite how much flavor this brew packs.
For dinner, I made a honey lemon chicken (thanks, Gordon Ramsay), and this beer paired with the meal beautifully. This beer is sweet, and definitely sour, but will not destroy your palate like more aggressive sour beers. Also, you can pick a 6-er of these guys up for the price of any of Dry Dock’s other beers, making this perhaps one of the only sour beers I’ve tried that is truly sessionable. The only real turnoff from this beer was the lack of head retention. I would have liked at least some head to stick around on this beer. This beer is for fruit beer lovers and sour beer lovers alike. Trying to get into sour beers? Trying to get into fruit beers? Looking for an affordable sour option? This needs to be in your fridge, like, yesterday.