The very idea of the IPA is dead. Or, at the very least, it’s changed to the point where there’s no agreed upon definition of what they style should look, smell, and taste like. The latest challenge to the arbiters of the IPA is a sour, genre-busting Frankenbeer that brings together the funk of wild fermentation and the juiciness of hazy IPAs. Sure, Michigan brewery Odd Side Ales gilded the lily when it released its kettle soured New England-style IPA Shamone, but what do you expect in the constant game of one-upsmanship that is the national beer market?
Before we get into the beer, we have to note the unfortunate Michael Jackson reference in the name and marketing. For what it’s worth, Odd Side’s beer hit shelves before Leaving Neverland reignited the monstrous allegations that have trailed trailed him for years. Shamone is hazy as promised, but unlike the un-soured New England-style IPAs of the world, it’s a shimmering lemon yellow. If this is what a little kettling does to a turbid IPA, let’s have some more of them.
Odd Side’s Shamone proves that you can break all the rules and have a damn good time doing it.”
You’d be hard pressed to identify this as a New England-style IPA on first sniff. Lactobacillus has a distinct green apple and hay aroma that permeates any beer it touches. That lovely, light citrus flavor overruns the scoops and scoops of hops that are dumped in.
A well-made kettle sour will make your palate sweat like you’ve just eaten a pack of Starburst in a single sitting. A well-made hazy IPA will slick your cheeks with fresh juice. Shamone manages to do both.
A good sour IPA should be an impossible task. It should be pizza and ice cream. But Odd Side’s Shamone proves that you can break all the rules and have a damn good time doing it. Though the beer is a bit strange, it’s an ultimately wonderful melding of PH and IBU. Embrace the sacrilege.