I don’t eat pineapple: Not that I really have anything against it, it’s just that it’s hardly the most user friendly fruit: Being too large, covered in spines and rather pricey. Which means I very rarely have one of the prickly bastards squatting in my fruit bowl. I’m also not really a fan of pineapple juice, finding it simply too tart and acidic for breakfast and too strong a flavour as a mixer.
So it took me a while to crack into the Tepache from the Wild Beer co. Tepache is a Mexican drink, fermented from pineapple peel and spiced with cinnamon. I am unfamiliar with genuine Mexican Tepache, so I have little to compare this West Country interpretation to. I could see how Pineapple could work as an addition to a sour beer and the Wild Beer Co certainly know their way around wild yeasts and funky, adjunct packed brews, so I thought I’d give it a shot on a late summer evening.
It pours a pretty, amber/brown with a decent head of fluff. The nose is slightly fusty, with aromas of boiled sweets, bread and proper scrumpy.
The palate is tart- but not too sour and has a fair whack of both pineapple & other tropical fruit: A bit like a cocktail made of six parts Lilt and one part cider vinegar. Thankfully, I can detect precious little of the threatened “spice” beyond a dusting of ginger. The finish is lengthy and vinous- in fact if the beer was just a little flatter, I’m sure it would be a hit with the “natural wine” crowd.
The brewery recommends you try mixing it with tequila. Not having any to hand, I chucked a healthy slug of Pickerings Gin into it- with very pleasant results.
Like all sours, this comes with a big caveat emptor, but if you can handle a wee bit of acid (and pineapple) then it’s well worth your while picking up a bottle or two. It is a limited edition, but at time of writing, it is still available at a sensible price through all the usual outlets.