Drowned Lands Brewery | Harvest Kill Sour IPA
Beers are getting stranger and stranger. While certainly with every candy bar stout and imminent explosion smoothie release a German purity law angel loses their wings, there is no denying that some of this experimentation has produced delectable results. Satiating the appetite of the voracious beer aficionado mandates that breweries put in enough ingredients to fuel a flux capacitor, but what about those of us who like to experiment, yet still want what we’re drinking to have at least a passing resemblance to the artist formerly known as “beer”? Well, let’s introduce you to The Drowned Lands and Harvest Kill, a Sour IPA that hits the balance just right.
The Drowned Lands opened up mid-pandemic on a gorgeous plot of land a day-trip north from NYC. Embodying the notion of “terroir”, The Drowned Lands aims to connect the drinker to the land itself, focusing on crafting beers that highlight nature, the seasons, and the produce of Upstate NY. In the resulting variety of beers produced, from wonderful Foeder Saisons and Lagers to crisp IPAs, there is a little something for everyone but a constant character in each beer highlighting the naturalist approach. In fact, the quality on offer led us at Porchdrinking.com to name The Drowned Lands as one of NY’s Best New Breweries for 2020.
And I’m Still In Love With You, On This Harvest Kill
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Harvest Kill, a Sour IPA with blackberry, raspberry, vanilla, milk sugar, almond, and hopped with Cashmere and Mosaic, may seem a little at odds with the DL mantra. As the Juicy tracksuit wearing “cool mom” in the Drowned Lands lineup, this beer wants to hang out with the hip kids, namely, those who retire after a day at Storm King or Dia Beacon with a hangout at nearby Hudson Valley Brewery, who helped make this type of beer fashionable. It’s a little flashier, but it still retains that Drowned Lands soul.
The pour presents a less sludgy beer than you’d expect, looking more like a delightful strawberry lemonade than a strawberry frappuccino. Pay no mind to the small amount of debris floating around, it just adds to the rustic aesthetic. The nose hits you at first with a mixed berry Bacardi Breezer vibe but, if that doesn’t immediately send you recoiling due to some poor choices made while studying abroad, buried underneath you get some of the lovely vanilla and Mosaic’s signature floral-fruity hop presence.
This beer has the essence of a well-balanced sparkling cocktail without excess sugar. It’s definitely much leaner than a lot of its style-bretheren, and much lighter than a lot of NEIPAs that clock in at the same ABV. Earthy blackberry starts the party, and raspberry tartness brings the energy even though it shows up fashionably late. The almond and milk sugar do not add too much density, but rather give the beer a light gelato finish. Throughout the tasting, the hops keep everything in check, with the fruity hop profile guiding this child by the hand while keeping it from tumbling over the rails.
I Want To See You Dance Again Drowned Lands
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Much lighter and more “beer” than a lot of other IPA/fruit hybrids, this is an all-around great can and an easy drinker. It’s the kind of beer you give to a friend to try, only to watch them sheepishly come up to you 15 minutes later asking if there’s any more left in the fridge. It can serve as a pleasant intro to “sour” beers, but yet has enough complexity to coax out a pleasant “mmmmm” from the hardcore crowd. Despite the “Mom’s baking a cake” ingredient list, it still manages in its execution to not fall far from The Drowned Lands tree and is a good sign of things to come from a relatively young brewery.