Sour Series: Good Word Brewing & Public House | Gran Gran Blackberry Cobbler Milkshake Sour
Memory is a powerful tool, and it shapes how we remember events, stories and people. It’s impressive how the brain forgets the day, yet can call back perfect details of a random afternoon with a loved one 20 years ago. The simplest images can cause these nostalgic moments that leave you thinking back on fond memories.
Everyone has specific beers that they can remember all the details of the city you were in, the bar or brewery you were at. Or even just how damn good it was. Gran Gran, a blackberry cobbler milkshake Sour, from Good Word Brewing will leave you with a memory like that.
The inspiration for Gran Gran is right on the can, as artist Rachel Eleanor depicts a woman picking blackberries from the bush. There’s also flowing greenery and berries sprawling around the can. The woman portrayed is Mary George Robinson, co-owner and head brewer Todd DiMatteo’s great-grandmother.
Although DiMatteo was young when she passed, he mentioned, he still has very fond memories of her. “When we were children, she would have my cousins and I fetch blackberries from her garden.” This was always a labor of love, as he knew that her purple-stained hands would soon yield her delectable blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.
While the cobbler was in the oven, the kitchen likely smelled of baking dough, melting blackberries and a medley of spices. All of those aromas, particularly the graham cracker and vanilla, are present in the nose of this purple liquid reminiscent of Gran Gran’s baking hands.
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When you first lift the glass, waves of blackberry rush to your lips. On each swallow, the vanilla and lactose provide a silky softness that turns subtly tart. There’s a good bit of graham cracker and cinnamon on the end that parallels with earthiness found commonly in blackberries. There is a juicy and jammy quality to Gran Gran, and it’s reinforced in the stunning purple-red colored pour.
This flavor profile should not be surprising since DiMatteo used 840 pounds of blackberry puree for a 12 barrel batch. “I add the fruit warm so it does ferment out. However, I use a French Saison yeast as my attenuator and that yeast likes to keep chewing.”
When asked about future releases of Gran Gran, DiMatteo said, “It’s definitely one of our more fun beers and I’m happy with how the beer always turns out. I really love the label.” He continued, “This is only the third time making it so I decided to up the ante and added more everything.”
If you missed out, don’t fret, there is a good chance that Gran Gran will return in the fall. In the meantime, drink this one for the nostalgia, but enjoy it for the memories that it will provide.