A Note on This Beer
San Francisco is a Sour fan’s dream destination, home to both Almanac and The Rare Barrel. But you did your homework and you’re here for a taste of the farm-to-glass fruitiness you can’t get within city limits.
Two hours south of the city, your car bumps down a dirt road, kicking up dust between rows of cherry trees. You park in a lot dotted with California license plates and walk toward a massive barn, as you hear the sound of glassware clinking from inside. You’ve arrived at Corralitos Brewing.
A golden-orange brew pours from a tap behind the bar, small bubbles accumulate around the rim of the glass like a gateway to sweet-tart heaven. You ask the bartender for a pint and move to the front patio, where you perch on a wooden chair made from spent oak barrels. There, face shaded by the sloping roof, you take your first sip.
The taste of Zoned AG Montmorency Cherry Sour Ale’s bright jammy tartness unfurls on your palate. Aged for 12 months in oak with tang-inducing Brett cultures, it tastes as if a Fuji apple were doused with cherry syrup and then left to dry in the sun. The rich cherry flavor from an additional 5 months of aging with cherry puree makes you smack your lips in delight — you may as well have plucked a cherry from a tree and popped it into your mouth.
It wasn’t an easy trip — flights were delayed, traffic was terrible, the GPS sent you in circles — but it was all worth it for a taste of this jammy, juicy tartness.