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The Rare Barrel | Forces Unseen

The Rare Barrel
Cleo Tobbi

Forces Unseen, The Rare Barrel By Cleo Tobbi

Sour beers have quickly become an obsession for beer drinkers around the world. This is nothing new. American breweries have taken to mimicking styles that range from old ales to long-practiced lambics and more. As of late, the US has been bestowed with many breweries whose sole purpose is to bring the world (or those who can access it) that puckering elixir known commonly as sour beer.

Enter, The Rare Barrel and their exclusively barrel-aged sour brewery. Other than having one of the best names in the industry (I mean, come on, “rare” is right in the title), The Rare Barrel also produces some top-quality sour beers. Ranging from barrel-aged Goses to Berliner Weisses, to everything in between, The Rare Barrel rolls the dice with each batch of this lively drink, especially one of their latest brews: Forces Unseen.

Not to say the brewers went in completely blind, but it should be understood that sour beers have a much higher risk when it comes to the final product. Wild yeasts and barrel-aging only add more components to such an active drink as beer. This batch is no exception.

In fact, Forces Unseen blends three golden sour beers aged in oak barrels and fermented with Brett Drei, Roselare, Belgian Sour Mix and “Bugfarm” yeasts. While the beer has plenty going on, it offers a more mild pucker than its Rare Barrel brethren in terms of taste. However, the yeast activity is strong in this one and its flavor will continue to alter both in the keg and in the bottle. Truly wild stuff.

The Rare Barrel By Cleo Tobbi

Forces Unseen, like many of Rare Barrel’s brews, only reaches an ABV of 5.5 percent. This allows for you sour fiends to grab a couple tulips of their draught sours without passing out on one of the brewery’s leather couches.

As delicious as their sour beer is, it truly is tough to get. When I said their name held high marks, it wasn’t just for poking fun at the beer community’s obsession with hard-to-find brews; the beer really is rare. Unless you find yourself fortunate enough to live near Berkeley, CA to regularly patronize The Rare Barrel brewery/taproom, the next best way to obtain their bottled is through their membership program.

The brewery only ever releases a particular bottled beer to the public (at their taproom) when they can. All other bottled beers are held for their Ambassador of Sour members only. More information about how to join this super awesome/super rare Ambassador of Sour membership, click here.

If you’re not convinced they’re worth my hype, then maybe their two medals from the 2014 World Beer Cup and Gold medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival will change your mind. May the beer odds be ever in your favor.

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