The SeaQuench Ale session sour pours cloudy straw yellow with thin bubbles that cling to the side of the glass. Crisp bright bubbles form a very thin head which dissipates quickly.
I’m getting a kind of candied lime aroma – bright and summery but also sweet. This sour ale is clean bodied with a fresh mouthfeel yet only a hint of carbonation. It’s sweet and tart but with the slightest touch of saltiness and little bit of a yeasty twang.
For reasons outlined below we’re tasting using a tulip, again with a stange, and then again with a chalice.
The tulip glass brings out the beer’s sweetness a bit while the stange brings out more of the tangy sourness. The head remains slightly longer in the stange but still ends falling to just a rim of medium sized bubbles.
In the chalice… wow… the sea salt is much more prevalent. I didn’t really taste it in the other glasses but here its a much bigger part of the flavor profile. A little crisp, very refreshing. This would definitely be a great beer at a backyard fish fry or clam bake.
Dogfish Head bills this as a “session sour” I can definitely see this being the case if you’re out on the beach. Sitting inside on a warm spring day one or two of these is likely my limit.
Release: April – December
A “Born on Date” is located in the bottom corner of the label.
Why That Glass?
In their promo for this beer (below) Dogfish head calls this a hybrid beer consisting of three styles brewed in sequence: kolsch, gose, and berlinerweisse. In recognition of their creativity we’re tasting from three glasses. A tulip glass (common for a sour), a stange (common for a kolsch & gose) and a chalice (common for a berliner weisse.)
On the beer’s spec-site they mention a pint glass but in all honesty I think a chalice is the way to go, especially if you have one that features any kind of etching for nucleation.
More About the SeaQuench Ale Session Sour
SeaQuench Ale Session Sour is brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery LLC. While the beer is listed as a Session Sour Dogfish Head refers to it as being a hybrid beer. You can see their “Quick Sip Clip” below.
When drinking a kölsch the first thing you should reach for is a stange. With it’s tall, narrow, body it shows off the beers refreshing clarity and light carbonation. It also helps in maintaining the beer’s delicate head.
In the absence of a beer stange you can also reach for any type of flute glass or a narrow pokal (pilsner glass). Even a tall champagne glass will do the job.
The idea is that you want a smaller surface area focusing those delicate aromas and flavors into a tight space.
About Kölsch Beer
This style is generally light in color and very clear. The light color comes from the pilsner and vienna malts used for brewing. They’re typically fermented with ale yeasts though they can be bottle conditioned with lager yeasts as well. This eclectic mix can lead to a slightly hoppy beer with hints of orchard fruits some wine-like characteristics.
It’s an excellent style for spring / summer drinking!
Unless you make a trip to Germany you’re unlikely to have authentic kölsch anytime soon. Like some other European products, a true kölsch beer must originate in a very specific place in order to garner that name.
There are plenty of other breweries crafting beers in the same style though – some do use the title but others may instead call them “german-style kolsch.” Still others just refer to them as being “summer” beers.
*Due to the nature of this style, with its geographical restrictions, I’m mostly listing easy to find versions of the beer vs. more common or traditional versions. Be sure to check out any liquor or wine stores with large import sections if you want something truly “authentic.”
The beer stange is a tall, thin, cylindrical glass that traditionally holds about 6.5 oz (200 mL). The traditional version of the stange is very similar to a tasting glass or highball glass but without the tapering sides.
Newer versions of the beer stange come in 12- 13 oz sizes to facilitate holding full bottles of beer or for making serving easier.
Because these glasses are tall and narrow they can be difficult to transport from a bar to a table. As a result, it’s not uncommon in Germany to see waiters carrying beers in a special tray called a kranz. These serving trays can be branded metal trays with a particular beer or breweries logo or they can be simple wooden trays similar to a tasting paddle.
Benefits of a Beer Stange
The tall thin glass is great for head retention in what are usually lower carbonation beers. This also focuses the beer’s aroma right under your nose helping with enjoyment of the more mild flavors of the beer. The beer stange’s shape also helps to showcase the clarity of styles like kölsch.
It’s shorter height and narrow body are also kind of practical. Because the stange is favored for lighter crisper beers you’ll want to drink them quicker – especially on hot summer days. The small glass, even the narrow tall glass, makes for quick drinking!
What Beer Goes with a Beer Stange?
Traditionally kölsch beers and altbiers favor the stange but any light crisp beer will benefit from it. This includes Rye Beers and lighter pilsners.
You can also enjoy some darker, cloudier beers from a stange. Gose beers, rauchbier, and Lambics can also be enjoyed in a stange. If you look at the Lindeman’s Flute Glass you’ll see it that it’s similar in style to both the stange and the straight sided pilsner glass. Rauchbier is usually drunk from a becher (or willi becher) which is similar to the taller stange though usually a bit wider.
Where can I buy a Beer Stange?
Walking into a local box store or home goods store you won’t find anything listed as a stange. Instead you should look for highball glass or “Tom Collins” glasses. If you can only find the larger style of the glass don’t sweat it. At the end of the day you’re not looking for the rapid fire service a 6.5 oz glass provides. Expect to find something in the 10- 17oz range instead. Even if the glass has a slight taper it’s not the end of the world.