There’s no two ways about it, bacteria are fickle, funky little bugs and getting them to work hard is hard work itself. The brewers at Epic spent over 18 months developing their latest offering, Tart ‘n Juicy Sour IPA, a unique fusion of puckering tartness and an abundance of juicy, citrus-driven hops.
Tart ‘n Juicy is a 4.5%, fresh, kettle soured, India Pale Ale with bright notes of grapefruit, agave, tangerine and passion fruit. Normally “sour” and “India Pale Ale” would be contradictory terms because the flavor combinations can be tough to bring together in just the right way. Traditionally, sours are aged for a very long time, whereas hops should be enjoyed as fresh as possible. Plus there’s the fact that sour producing bacteria, like Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, don’t usually thrive in hoppy environments due to the hops’ natural antimicrobial properties. What does all this mean? Just that Tart n’ Juicy was a challenge to create and the beer is probably like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. In order to harmonize the flavors in the beer, Epic’s team had to turn its attention to beer souring bacteria.