Ruhstaller Cudera Napa Valley (via Sactown) 2013

Like the TV series Hannibal, this little number needs some time, patience, and some understanding. What starts off as "interesting" gradually grows into something interesting. While my first sip had me considering a swirl down the drain for this wine-beer hybrid, (trending), my last sip had me wanting more.

Made by fermenting grape must with beer, its taste is not what you might expect. While it's similar in style and taste to a farmhouse ale or a lambic, (it is a fruit beer, after all), Ruhstaller's Cudera is its own thing. It's more sour and less sweet/fruity than its cousins.

Tip: Unlike a lambic, you'll want it at wine temperature, not beer temperature. Too cold and it starts to taste, well, wrong is the best word that I have for what it did to my tongue.

If I have a complaint about this product, it's that it comes across as watery. By that I'm comparing it to those flavored waters that the shelves are brimming with lately. Something more robust might be truly interesting. Perhaps its time for me to investigate other hybrids, like Odell Brewing's Amuste?

That said, if you're looking for something different, pick up a bottle, (if you can find one), and pair it as you would a lambic.

You can read more about beer-wine hybrids over at Imbibe or meet some Belgian-style hybrids at 7x7.


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