Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, a weekly column where we pick a beer from our fridge and review it, because in a world where two new breweries launch every single week, sometimes we need some help sifting through all of the hops.
Before I dive into this week’s beer, I want to make it clear that this review is not rooted in politics but, rather, in the determination of whether or not this specific brew is delicious. I tend to keep my political views to myself when it comes to Dirtfork and my own personal social media outlets, which I intend to do here. The timing is purely coincidence. I will just present the facts – now, on to this week’s beer selection.
Last week was my birthday and my family knows about my appreciation for craft beer, so my sister decided to pick up a gift from her local bottle shop during a recent visit, hoping it might make my review. Understanding my excitement of hunting down some of the rarest beers North America has to offer, she thought outside of the box in her selection, grabbing something from a brewery for which I knew very little. I had heard of the name before but there’s a good reason why I’m not well-versed on Behemoth Brewing Company: its based out of Auckland, New Zealand. Add in the fact that I’ve been on a sour kick for months, which will end with the cool weather, and it’s no wonder why I was excited when she handed me Behemoth Brewing Company’s ImPEACHment Sour Ale.
Founded by Andrew Childs, Behemoth was originally started as part of a New Year’s resolution but over the last half decade has grown into so much more, producing roughly 80 efforts – many of which were just one-offs – while always focusing on complex, quality-tasting beers. Childs and a brewing buddy suffered burns to 40 percent of their bodies in 2015 as the result of a horrible brewing accident and while it slowed down Childs, it hasn’t stopped his passion. Behemoth has won a number of awards recently, including some of Australia’s highest honors. There’s currently 11 beers in the brewery’s core group, many of which are politically themed, focusing mostly on variations of pale ales, though it seems much of the company’s lineup doesn’t make it across the globe.
ImPEACHment is a 5.5 percent ABV, 4 IBU kettle sour featuring Pacific Jade hops and a whole slew of different grains. It contains 200 kilograms – or almost 440 pounds – of Golden Queen Peaches making it “hazy as fuck.” There’s not too much more information about it but, I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m anticipating a very strong peach presence here, so much so that I’ll be singing Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America after the first sip – if you knew me at all, this would seem pretty normal.
The label of this 14.4-ounce can features the company’s logo and mascot, which I enjoy, reconfigured to look like President Donald Trump, accentuating all of the features you’d expect. It has a blue and purple background and the writing looks like it’s from one of those campaign signs on the side of the road. It does a great job explaining the backstory of Behemoth as well as ImPEACHment, stating:
This beer is dedicated to the hope that Impeachment comes swiftly. We have made this beer as sour as the man himself and loaded it with New Zealand Golden Queen Peaches. Peaches, you ask? Well, what else would be in an Impeachment ale?
As soon as I cracked open the can, I noticed the smell of peaches – it was pretty definitive. While my stuffy nose made it challenging to fully embrace ImPEACHment’s full smell, I did manage to also notice a faint lemon aroma as well. The pour to this beer was superb, with a solid amount of off-white head that accentuated the beer’s cloudy yellowish color, kind of resembling a peach. I was singing Peaches by this point. The carbonation was pretty substantial as well – you can notice that in the picture I took – and helped with the head retention while ensuring a bubbly sip for the majority of consumption.
I’m going to come right out here and say this beer is mighty tasty but not exactly what I was hoping for when I cracked it open. Calling it a sour ale might be a bit of a mislabel in my opinion as I thought the overall flavor of ImPEACHment was more tart than sour. It’s sour but maybe not quite a sour as I would’ve hoped. However, there’s a light-to-medium bodied mouthfeel that is typical for beers such as this one and Behemoth beer did the peach flavor justice, capturing the desired taste – you know, the entire focal point of this beer. But the peach is really the only flavor I could easily pinpoint. It’s not only peachy but it’s the kind of funky you want in a tart beer, specifically because there’s no sweetness mixed in there. At the end, there’s a dryness that really brings the flavor home. I would have no problem drinking a couple of these in one sitting, maybe around a fire.
Because it was given to me, I’m not sure what ImPEACHment will cost if you grabbed a single or a four-pack at your local establishment. When I checked out BeerAdvocate, I saw it had just two reviews to go along with nine ratings, for an average score of 3.86. I might have to go a little lower than that, giving it a 7.0, because I feel like this beer had a great flavor and tartness but I just thought teetered on being as much of a saison as a self-proclaimed sour ale. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it.
Stay tuned for next week, because I might just try something from your favorite brewery.