Citrus flavours in craft beer isn’t anything new, but there were two things that jumped out at me with this beer, the first being the Melon, and the second being the fact that it’s a lager, which typically isn’t as commonly known for such flavours. But the Manchester-based Chorlton Brewery Co appear to be building a reputation based on sour beers, as they also produce beers such as the Amarillo Sour and the Citra Brett Pale, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ve produced a sour lager too.
The appearance of the beer is unlike any lager I’ve seen before – it’s clearly unfiltered as it has a cloudy and hazy look to it, and the colour is a darker, golden amber colour verging on orange unlike the generally lighter appearance of more traditional lagers. The aroma, too, sets it apart with an initial strong hit of Melon – as you’d expect – specifically Honeydew Melon, before being followed by a gentler grassy, more floral scent.
It’s the taste of the lager where it really smacks you around the face, as on the first mouthful it hits you with a strong, sour melon flavour, with the addition of orange rind and zest. But after a couple of more mouthfuls, you get a slight saltiness, and notes of blood orange. It’s a very complex drink, and one that the enjoyment of will hinge on the drinker’s tastebuds. I do have a penchant for sour flavours, but I usually prefer it in my food rather than my drinks. With that being said, I did enjoy the the Melon Sour Lager, but it’s bitterness and strength means that I would only ever have one of them of an evening – it’s definitely not a session lager. But is it a very well crafted, enjoyable lager that offers something different? Absolutely. And for that Chorlton should be commended.
A sour, fruity and refreshing lager which doesn’t pull any punches.