Due South Brewing Co. in Boynton Beach is on the verge of launching an all-new sour project, which means pretty soon there will be a ton of fun and experimental sour-style beers to sample. When it goes live later this year, the brewery will stand as the first in Palm Beach County to offer imbibers a dedicated sour program.
The one question everyone is wondering: "Why not sooner?"
"There's a lot of good reasons why most brewers don't [brew sour beers], and a lot more still as to why Due South hasn't done it in the past," says Due South founder Mike Halker. "Fermentation takes a long time and can be tricky to keep under control. Although we're still in the experimental stage, thanks to our expansion plans we now have a dedicated space where we can focus on making some really great sours."
That includes Due South's take on the popular Berliner Weisse, a sour-style wheat beer made with both traditional warm-fermenting yeasts and lactobacillus cultures. Several weeks ago, the beer — officially dubbed the Weekender Weisse — became the sour project's first release. The full program is expected to launch next fall when the brewery unveils its new tap room.
"The weisse beers are easier to work with, so we were able to get the Weekender Weisse out much sooner than the rest," says Halker. "It's perfect timing. They are great summertime beers, very light and refreshing."
The Florida Weisse was born at St. Pete's Cycle Brewing where brewer Doug Dozark is credited with creating the first fruit-forward sour ale dubbed the Ich Bin Ein Rainbow Jelly Donut, a weisse made with hand-squeezed key limes and fresh raspberries.
Upcoming releases will include a variety of fruit-flavored Weekender Weisse — otherwise known as Florida Weisse brews — each flavor created by a different Due South brewer. Throughout the summer expect to see all seven on tap including a kiwi, black cherry, strawberry hibiscus, orange el dorado, mosaic hopped, mango habanero, and papaya ginger.
"The weisse is such a flexible beer — not just to pair with food — but also what we can do with it. That tartness we can build on and bend around to make it taste different ways," adds Halker. "We're going to cram as much creativity into the beer as we can, and see what we can get."
Most recently, the brewery tapped a keg of its mango habanero treated Weekender Weisse on May 5 for Cinco de Mayo. The next treatment will tap for the brewery's four-year anniversary party slated for May 14. But hurry: each one has been brewed in limited quantity and is expected to go fast.
While the Weekender Weisse will continue to make random appearances on tap at the brewery throughout the summer months, Halker says the new space next door is currently home to dozens more barrels dedicated to several different types of sour beer.
Due South brewers began inoculating barrels nearly two years ago, and styles range from a porter aged in bourbon barrels to a blonde ale aged in red wine barrels with sour cherries. All of them have been fermenting for close to a year-and-a-half, adds Halker, what amounts to more than 40 barrels with anywhere from four to six dedicated to each particular style.
"That means first pours for many of these beers will be extremely limited," says Halker. "But, as the program grows, plans are to expand production for larger outputs. One step at a time."
To stay updated on Due South's sour beer program, keep an eye on the brewery's social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for specialty release dates and announcements.
Due South Brewing Co. is located at 2900 High Ridge Road, Boynton Beach. Call 561-463-2337, or visit duesouthbrewing.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.