We recently traveled to Denver, Colorado for the 36th annual Great American Beer Festival® joining over 800 breweries. We’re honored that our cross-country trip was capped off by Two of Tarts winning a Gold medal for Best Contemporary Gose! The summer installment of our Tart Series was a favorite within the Upland community and we’re thrilled to see its quality gain national recognition. Two of Tarts is a Gose brewed with passionfruit and mango that showcases our own twist on a traditional German Gose, resulting in a light, sour, and fruity beer. While both our sour ales program and Tart Series fall within the spectrum of “tart” or “sour” based on their acidity, our Tart Series undergoes a different process called ‘kettle souring’

So what’s the difference between a wood-aged sour ale and a kettle sour? Micro-organisms & time. Sour ales ferment with several different bacteria and age in oak barrels & foudres up to a year or longer. They utilize complex mashing techniques, and often massive quantities of fruit. The result is an intense acidity that is funky, complex, and flavorful. In contrast, kettle sours utilize a single bacteria, Lactobacillus, and sour over the course of one night. They tend to be less tart, with a cleaner, more straightforward flavor profile.

Without the added complexity and funk derived from mixed-culture fermentation and wood aging, kettle souring alone usually isn’t sufficient for making a truly interesting and satisfying beer unless you get a little more creative. That’s why we like to use the clean tartness of kettle sours to highlight delicious specialty ingredients that increase depth of flavor and complexity.

This unique and delicious product is why we began experimenting with kettle sours. The yearly Tart Series includes three releases: Petal to the Kettle (January-April), Two of Tarts (May-August), and Modern Tart (September-December). Petal to the Kettle is made with rose petals, strawberry, and hibiscus for a very light and refreshing taste with a beautiful rose color. Modern Tart includes apricot and lactose and is slightly more sweet and creamy than our other releases. While Two of Tarts is no longer available, Modern Tart is on tap at all of our locations and in 6 packs at Indiana, Louisville, and Cincinnati liquor stores through the end of the year. Petal to the Kettle will return to kick off the 2019 Tart Series in January. Come in and see for yourself what our kettle sours are all about!