At the top of their website, Destihl Brewery demands two things of its fans. Right under their name, they boldly display their motto, in all caps: "Support flavor. Boycott bland." This is the idea that defines the brewery, a promise that they certainly fulfill.
Founded in 2013 in Bloomington, Illinois, Destihl makes not-so-typical brews. From rotating seasonals & sours to an array of Belgian Ales, Destihl does it all, and each beer has its own distinctive flair. For this tasting, we were able to snag two beers from their award-winning WiLD SOUR Series. The "wild" in the name technically refers to the yeast used, but the flavor earned the moniker as well. Take a look:
Flanders Red has a twin provenance - part traditional Flanders ale, part German-style sour. The hybrid poured into our glasses with a syrupy, medicinal red hue that elicited calls of Robitussin from around the table. Atop the maraschino-cherry brew was a light tan head, like beach sand, complete with tiny airholes.
Along with the expected sourness in the aroma, the Flanders Red also came with a pleasant mustiness, like an old tome, full of secrets and wisdom. Below said wisdom lurked a strong tart sweetness, full of apricot, peach, cherry, and plum notes. The other fruits of the fruit-leather aesthetic took to the wings on the tongue, however: cherry ruled the palate. With the sharpness of a black cherry warhead and continual bite from start to finish, Flanders Red definitely deserves to be a part of the WiLD SOUR series.
We're not gonna dance around it: Here Gose Nothin’ is truly a beautiful beer. It shone with the deep gold of a newly polished, well-worn wedding ring - starry and starry-eyed. A lightly foamy, sky-white head topped it all off. After conjuring up the perfect summer day, however, Here Gose Nothin’ stung the nostrils with the delicious acridity of green apple sour candy. Underneath that, there were hints of saltiness in the scent, like a Saltine pulled straight from the box.
Much like Flanders Red, this Leipzig-style gose tasted like a candy, though one that emphasized tart over sour. The acidic quality was a result of the spontaneous fermentation the wild yeast encounters during the brewing process, yielding the distinct tang. There were many happily puckered faces around our tasting table as we rode on this brew's wild and flavorful ride.