Beer Reviews

Acoustic Glow

Resonating with bright citrus tones and tart, refreshing acidity, Acoustic Glow is an unplugged intermission from the digital grind. Read on to get the tabs on our latest Fruited Sour Ale release!

Review courtesy of our Sensory Specialist, Travis Houston, a Certified Cicerone and FoBAB judge.

Acoustic Glow is a Fruited Sour Ale. This is an unusual style. Can you talk about the history/characteristics of the style. What makes this one unique?

Traditionally made Belgian sours have incorporated fruit for hundreds of years, often relying on the natural microbes that live on that fruit to provide the acidifying bacteria. Modern craft beer has embraced this tradition, and iterated on it by using every combination of fruit imaginable. Along with experimenting with fruit combos, new methods for souring beer emerged. “Quick sours” were developed in the last 20 years, flipping the souring process by utilizing lactic acid producing bacteria early in the brew house. While a traditional sour may take a year or more to reach the brewer’s intended flavor profile, “quick sours” can be fully fermented and packaged in a few weeks or less, allowing for even faster and more direct innovation. The most recent development in sour beer has been the introduction of genetically modified yeast which produces acid while undergoing standard alcohol fermentation. This method is by far the easiest, since no modifications to the brewing process are needed, other than pitching the special souring yeast. With all that said, the fruit combo in Acoustic Glow just didn’t seem matched with any of these techniques, so we went with the most direct souring method: bright tank additions of citric acid. This not only allows us to fine-tune the acid level, but using citric acid instead of the traditional lactic acid enhances the grapefruit and lime, leading to a juicier, more refreshing fruit profile.  


Acoustic Glow is flavored with grapefruit and key lime. Talk about what each of these flavors do in the beer. Where did this flavor combo come from?

Our innovation team is always looking for flavor inspiration. The idea for the fruit combination in Acoustic Glow came to us while a few members of the team were sipping on palomas at a local cocktail bar. Bright, juicy grapefruit and sweet key lime lead the aroma, which meld perfectly with crisp pilsner malt and citrusy wheat in the flavor. A light salt addition lends a fast, refreshing finish that lingers ever so slightly with juicy citrus.


We also brew Electric Glow; how do these two beers complement one another?


Electric Glow is the cold weather counterpart to Acoustic Glow, drawing flavor inspiration from the cherry and orange often used in warming cocktails like an Old Fashioned. Electric Glow evokes a cold, rainy night, where your refuge is a cozy bar with a well-crafted drink. Acoustic Glow is a splash of cool water on a hot, sun-filled afternoon by the pool, the smell of the grill lingering in the background.

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

This beer is light-bodied, bursting with real fruit flavor, and extremely refreshing. The low alcohol content makes Acoustic Glow the perfect companion to outdoor summer activities, be it a backyard barbecue or a day at the pool. The salt addition really ramps up the refreshment level, with salinity cleansing the palate and leading the way for another sip or a bite of food. The citric acid is also perfectly balanced with light malt sweetness, enhancing the grapefruit and lime rather than covering it. The addition of white wheat to the malt bill also adds to the citrus character, while alluding to traditional German sour styles like Gose and Berliner Weiss.


If Acoustic Glow was an album from the 90s, which album would it be?

I’ve given this a lot of thought—more that I’d like to admit. I considered 3rd Eye Blind’s Self Titled album, but it doesn’t feel right, even though it embodies 90s alternative. I thought about Blind Melon, or even Reel Big Fish. I couldn’t bring myself to consider Dave Matthews. But I think this question requires the obvious answer, the one that every puka-shell wearing, sandal-footed beach musician relies on to get the party started—Oasis (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? debuted in 1995, right in the middle of the decade, heavily features acoustic guitar, and gave us some earworms that haven’t left our brains since. Anyway, here’s Wonderwall… 


What are some other Fruited Sour Ales that you dig?

Since these beers are often seasonal and rare, I’ll list some breweries that I think make incredible fruited sours. Jackie O’s and Little Fish are both top tier Ohio sour makers. Cascade and Allagash, on opposite coasts, are also world class, and worth seeking out.


Appearance: Light gold with slight haze and minimal white foam


Aroma: Juicy, bright grapefruit and sweet key lime dominate the aroma, with slight hints of cracker-like malt


Taste: Fruit and acidity hit the palate first, complementing and enhancing each other. Clean, crisp malt sweetness follows, rounded out by palate-cleansing salinity.


Mouthfeel: Light and bright with medium acidity, low bitterness, and just enough balancing sweetness.


Overall: Acoustic Glow is a fruit forward, tart beer that features fresh, juicy grapefruit and sweet key lime. Mild malt sweetness and a hint of salt balance the tart citric acidity, leading to a crisp, refreshing finish.


What foods would pair well with Acoustic Glow?

I think Acoustic Glow, with its palate-cleansing salinity, would go great with fish and chips.


Ideal glassware for Acoustic Glow? A standard shaker pint.