Gweilo, Rainbow Sherbet Sour

Gweilo’s Rainbow Sherbet Sour is a beer made with raspberry puree and lemon zest on a kettle sour base. It’s zingy and fruity, but also has a good amount of malty sweetness. Rainbow Sherbet Sour contains lactose and wheat, so it isn’t suitable for vegans or those avoiding gluten.

What were your favourite sweets when you were a child? For me, it was always fizzy cola bottles. I loved the initial sourness gradually easing into sugary sweetness as the crystalline coating dissolved in my mouth.

Fizzy rainbow laces weren’t my number one sweet, but they certainly ranked pretty highly. So I’m naturally drawn towards this beer: a Rainbow Sherbet Sour.

Gweilo Rainbow Sherbet Sour beer with a small dog
Modelled by the beautiful and slightly anxious Chico

I’m also drawn toward this beer because of the brewer. Gweilo makes fabulous beers in Hong Kong, and I’d all but given up hope of finding them all the way back in the UK. Imagine my surprise, then, seeing their label leap out at me from a supermarket shelf in London.

As it happens, this beer is not from Hong Kong. It’s probably never left the country. Much like East Meets West, this particular can comes from Vocation up in Hebden Bridge. Still, I imagine it’s probably Gweilo’s recipe.

Obviously the first thing that strikes me here is the can. It’s gorgeous, vibrant, and bright. It looks like a corporate sponsor at a gay pride parade.

The bright colours continue inside the can. Rainbow Sherbet Sour pours rosy pink, like a rose wine. I feel like I’m sitting on the beach at Cannes.

The aroma is bright and fresh. There’s an immediate hit of kettle sour tartness, followed by some light, fresh lemon zest. I wonder if the beer’s name has implanted a suggestion in my mind, but I feel like I can pick up some aromas of icing sugar too.

On the palate it starts sharp and sweet, with loads of raspberry fruity tartness. But rapidly that fades, leaving a softer, pillowy wheat sweetness instead. It’s exactly like a sour sweet: once you gum off the crystalline sour coating, you’re left with a sugary sweet inside.

The end result is like a funky version of Blue Moon. It has the same wheat sweetness, the same reassuringly thick mouthfeel, but offers lemony tartness in the place of Moon’s orange juice.

Rainbow Sherbet Sour is a fun beer to try. It’s not the sort of thing you could drink can after can of, but as an interesting diversion on your way to a session beer, it’s very good.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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