Sour Beer For Bitter People


“Two halves Ray, cheers”

“What the hell is this muck?”

“Sweet Cider”


“Same reaction every time and yet you still manage to drink it…”

“Doesn’t taste like hops though does it. I’d do anything for an IPA right now. You know there was a time when that bitterness, that heavy hopping, it was like someone was stripping the roof from my mouth”


“Hey! Those days were glorious”

“Oh the glory days. You know you never really explained what happened…”

“People got greedy, that’s what happened. The companies, the big brewers…Buddy friggin’ Nelson”

“Sarcasm pal. You’ve actually told me this story so many times…”

“So indulge me”

“Fine. I can tell you’re in the mood to rant and it’s not like I’ve got anything better to do”

“It was the virus. The mould. The collapse. See, there was a time when everyone was brewing and everyone was drinking and everyone…”


“Everyone. They all wanted hops. We all wanted hops. So they gave us hops. We revelled in it. Grapefruit, mango, pineapple, orange, grape, herbs, pine, lychee. Fucking lychee! We’d analyse those hop profiles and we’d damn near worship the beers. It was a scene, a whole damn culture and it went mainstream, everyone wanted in on the action. Hop farms were put under pressure, there weren’t enough to go around. That was the beginning of the end. Buddy Nelson entered the scene, started buying things up, didn’t think twice about buying out the hop farms either…started a new breeding programme to keep up with demand, bred new hop varieties…”

“That wasn’t a good thing?”

“Sure. For a while. But over time those varieties got weak. All that over breeding, they started to succumb to this virus, this mould, this disease wiped out whole fields. The lab rats he employed came up with a few chemical sprays; fungicides y’know, but the chemicals were weak too, not like those from years ago. Legislation soon saw the end of those waaay back; needed to save the bees. Anyways, micro brewers, nano brewers, backyard brewers, they started growing their own hops but they too started to get the mould. The sprays weren’t enough, it all went the same way as the antibiotics; the virus was resistant. Not many plants survived after that. A few, sure, but not many. Pale ales, IPA’s, they soon dwindled in numbers too. And prices rocketed. Folk went back drinking other stuff anyway. People are fickle like that.”

“You know there’s a bottle of Black IPA on the top shelf, right?”

“Yeah, it’s as stale as the food they serve here! How long has that been sitting there anyway?”

“Nobody wants it. It’s a relic.”

“No one can afford it at that price! Jeez.”

“Half a sour instead then?”

“Sure. It’ll match my mood.”