In April, The Bruery will join the ever-expanding ranks of brewery-on-brewery collaborators with the release of Marrón Acidifié, a dark sour ale aged for over a year in bourbon and wine barrels (marrón means brown). Good news: This year, it's an actual beer, not an April Fool's joke — although that Bruery-Budweiser “Bland Tuesday” collaboration teaser last year was pretty hilarious, as was the impressive faux Bruery label.
Turn the page for more, including our tasting notes.
Bruery owner-head brewer Patrick Rue joined forces with Tampa-based Joey Redner, founder of Cigar City Brewing's after the two met at the Great American Beer Festival in 2009. Founded in the same year (2008), the brewery owners say they bonded over those mammoth balloon loans and their similar penchant for barrel aging and tossing unusual ingredients (maple syrup, guava) into their beers. In other words, good old fashioned American craft beer experimentation.
And so a recipe idea was spawned, and soon Wayne Wambles, the head brewer at Cigar City, was on a flight to Southern California to collaborate with Rue and his brewing staff on this amped-up Oud Bruin, a classic Flemish sour ale.
The resulting Marrón Acidifié is not for the faint of tongue, at least on the first sip. But that head-on collision with sour — really sour — citrus works here really well. It mellows after the first few sips, or better yet, give it a few minutes to open up in the glass before you dive in. It's as if the brewers have made a peaceful California-Florida citrus grove agreement, a balance of liberal and conservative flavors that is decidedly veering more to left of center. Fine, politics aside, this is a damn good beer.
You can find it beginning next Friday, April 8th, at both The Bruery's tasting room and Cigar City's, should you happen to be on your way to Florida. Both breweries are planning tasting parties that will be webcast between venues. We are imagining much live coastal toasting and congratulating, perhaps even with one of those how-craft-beer-is-changing-the-world speeches by The Bruery's head brewer, Tyler King, who actually will be in Florida that day to work on the next collaborative project, a saison ale.
Bruery sales manager Ben Weiss says he isn't sure exactly which local bars and retailers will end up with the Marrón Acidifié (“who gets it is more up to our distributor”) but suggests keeping an eye out for it beginning the week of April 11th in the usual hangouts: Library Ale House, Blue Palms and The Surly Goat and retailers like Beverage Warehouse and Wally's Wine with a retail price tag of around $20 for a 750 ml bottle.