Drink This Now: Viskey Sour, by Bog Iron Brewing
You’ve likely sipped a barrel-aged beer before. But how about one inspired by a whiskey sour?
You’ll have the chance with Bog Iron Brewing’s Viskey Sour, an imperial Berliner weisse aged in bourbon barrels. The Norton brewery’s cofounders Frank White, Matt Menard, and Brian Shurtleff often experiment with barrel-aging, and they decided to move toward the cocktail spectrum with their newest release.
To make that happen, the brewers lightly dry-hopped one of their core beers—a 7 percent ABV Berliner weisse called Big Tart—and left it to rest in bourbon barrels for about two months.
Shurtleff says the crisp, German style acts like the classic cocktail’s sour mix. “You get that tart from the Berliner, and a little bit of orange peel from hops, and it blends nicely with the bourbon flavor,” he says.
Viskey Sour will be available next week in 16-ounce bottles at the brewery, though it won’t be on draft for the time being.
“This is a beer you want to drink a little on the warmer side, so you don’t want it ice-cold off a draft line,” Shurtleff says.
If the Norton taproom is a bit of a jaunt for you, don’t worry. Bog Iron is extending its retail distribution network into Boston. Keep an eye out for bottles at Pemberton Farms in Cambridge, and various Craft Beer Cellar stores. Shurtleff says the brewery frequently rotates its offerings, but he expects a dunkelweizen and a few IPAs to make it up north.
Bog Iron is also looking to expand in its hometown. The team is in talks with a few local developers about potential new spaces that could triple their footprint in Norton. The current facility is 8,500 square feet. A bigger space would allow for a kitchen; Shurtleff hopes to have a space he could sublease to local chefs and ultimately provide some eats for brewery visitors.
Bog Iron is aging other beers for a winter release, including a chardonnay barrel-aged saison with Brettanomyces. But the beauty of barrel-aging is that you’ll just have to be patient.
$7.25, Bog Iron Brewing, 33 West Main St., Norton, 508-952-0555, bogironbrewing.com.