Beer: CHONK Peach Melba
Brewery: Drekker Brewing Company (Fargo, ND)
Style: Sour – Smoothie/Pastry
7.7% ABV / 0 IBU
The late, great beer and spirits writer Michael James Jackson didn’t live long enough to anticipate trends in sour beers; he’d likely find the push towards smoothie-style sours to be perfectly abhorrent. Not me, though—I can’t get enough of ’em. They’re a joy to drink, particularly for fans of sweet-and-sour candies that tickle the tongue. And it’s a gimmick (which Drekker even acknowledges on the label) that works perfectly for a pint of beer or a beer share, just because the novelty of one flavor combination can rub off quickly.
For the uninitiated, the “pastry” designation of the sour relates not only to the dessert-like flavor combinations, but how the sour is brewed. Sometimes sweetness is achieved through the incorporation of pastry cream, and sometimes (in the case of CHONK Peach Melba) it’s from a combination of lactose/milk sugars and vanilla. Meanwhile, the “smoothie” part owes everything to the body of the beer – this type of sour will typically pour with a giant frothy head, similar to the creaminess that’s created by incorporating a banana into a smoothie. Even with a more gentle pour, you can enjoy the very slow to dissipate head, one of this brew’s great strengths.
Like a lot of Drekker’s CHONK series, the Peach Melba variety is a flavor bomb, with hints of vanilla, marshmallow and coconut, and tons and tons of peach and raspberry flavor. As a peach-forward sour, it’s stellar, because you experience the mellowness of the stone fruit with a little bit of pungent acidity from the raspberries. The lone strike against this version of CHONK is that it’s slightly over-hopped, with an astringent sort of bitterness that appears an aftertaste. Maybe this makes for a more balanced experience overall, but for something that aims to emulate an ice cream sundae, it might be better to keep it cloyingly sweet, hangovers be damned.
For more info on CHONK Peach Melba, please head here.