Beer Reviews

Perceptual Passion (Fruited Sour Ale)

The wheel of cosmic process perpetually turns as our sour blonde ale awakes from oaken slumber to become itself again through a metamorphic encounter with passionfruit. Tropical fruit flavors are balanced with notes of vanilla, mild funk and gentle acidity. May your cup be ever filled with Perceptual Passion.

Reviews are done by our Sensory Specialist Travis Houston, a Certified Cicerone and FoBAB judge.

Vintage: 2019

Months Aged: 12

Culture: House Brettanomyces, House Lactobacillus

Originally named Perpetual Passion, Perceptual Passion has an exciting backstory, taking home Gold at the 2018 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers in Chicago. Could you talk a bit about FoBAB and what it means for our team to take home some hardware?

2018 FoBAB was definitely an experience I’ll never forget for many reasons. It was my first year as a judge at that competition, which is loaded with talented and experienced panelists that taught me a lot. Being such a large and renowned festival, the quality of entries was mind-blowing. And to keep things fair, they make sure that if you’re a judge from a brewery with entries, you don’t get to judge your own beer. This meant I had no idea how well Perceptual Passion had done until the announcement at the awards ceremony itself. We were all in such shock that it took someone behind us shouting “you won!” before we all jumped and cheered in celebration. Medaling at a competition so loaded with talent was exciting enough, but taking home gold was surreal.

When selecting beers to be entered into the competition, what made this one stand out?

I host internal sensory panels where I allow anyone in the company to sign up for a chance to attend. I pick a style and gather some beer from other breweries that fits the style. I randomize them all, assigning codes to keep it blind, and have the group taste and rate them. To help us pick what to send to FoBAB, I did a panel that was entirely beer from our own Outer Reaches program. Perceptual Passion dominated that panel and was the favorite of almost everyone in the group. Since these panels are similar to a competition judging session, this gave us the confidence that the beer would do well.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

The same reasons this beer did well in both my internal panel and in competition are why I want to drink it. The aroma is almost all fruit, with subtle hints of oak and Brettanomyces funk. Complex acidity hits the palate right up front, along with an explosion of passion fruit flavor. The perceived sweetness from the fruit balances out the acidity, which lingers subtly. Bottle conditioning to a slightly higher level of carbonation makes all these flavors and aromas really jump from the glass, while also imparting a lightness and effervescence that really accents the thin, dry body of this beer.

Appearance: Gold with some haze and thin, white foam that quickly collapses.

Aroma: Passion fruit with hints of oak and Brettanomyces funk.

Taste: Medium acidity leads to fresh passion fruit, adding a perception of sweetness to this dry brew.

Mouthfeel: From the bottle, where carbonation is slightly higher, the body is thin and effervescent, almost champagne-like.

Overall: Fresh passion fruit shines in this sour, which features medium acidity and a crisp, dry finish.

What foods would pair well with Perceptual Passion?

This beer would go well with grilled chicken or pasta with red sauce.

Ideal glassware for Perceptual Passion?

A snifter. Missing out on these aromas would be tragic.