One beer style which is currently "on trend" in the UK at the moment is the berlinner weisse, or even sour beers in general. We've had a number from Brodies and now Buxton is getting in on the act.
They recently launched a collaboration, Sky Mountain Sour with To Ol which I enjoyed very much indeed whilst in Edinburgh and the general view from twitter too is that its a great beer. I was also kindly given a few pre-release bottles of Buxton sours, by Denis brewed by the Buxton team separately to the collaboration brew. They use three strains of yeast/bacteria to ferment (Buxton house yeast, lactobacillus and Bretanomyces) which all contribute to the beer in their own unique way.
Raspberry sour is what it says on the tin, scarlet tinged pale amber with a nose redolent of raspberry jam. There's a fair bit of up front lacto-sourness then the tart, earthy raspberry flavour comes through. Its packed full of flavour despite its relatively meagre 3.2% strength and its something that went down well, chilled in the heat of Scotland's heat wave.
Even better is the snozberry sour (snozberries? who ever heard of a snozberry). This frankenberry concoction pours a deeper shade of red - crimson perhaps with a melange of berry fruits on the nose, redcurrant and blackberry seem prevalent. In flavour its difficult to distinguish any particular berry, but they all work together well, bouncing off the tart weisse backdrop to produce a flavourful and refreshing beer. It finishes fairly dry too with the added Brettanomyces yeast chomping through residual sugars leaving its familiar fermenting hay notes on the palate. I could easily spend an afternoon session on pints of this and still be compos mentis on the way home.
Buxton will be launching these beers in bottle at their new Tap House, due to open iimminently.I hope to visit before the year's out. If we're lucky they'll make a bigger batch for keg too. Fingers crossed! TThey've also recently released a black sour which sounds intriguing!
I'd love to see more UK brewers take on this style, though understandably we probably won't see many go "full gueuze" because of the risk of contamination of regular brews. I think Brewdog have suggested they may use their old brewery for wild yeasted beers and of course Somerset's own Wild Beer Co are doing all manner of interesting things with wild yeasts. More please!