I’m not gonna lie, I love a good sour beer—the weirder and funkier, the better. Somehow, in my pursuit of all things tart and sour, I completely overlooked Springdale. This Framingham, Massachusetts brewery was new to me, but thanks to a reader suggestion it got put on my radar. Founded in 2016, it does it all—from country-style can-conditioned witbiers and breakfast stouts to heavily-hopped IPAs. But where this brewery really shines is in its barrel-aged sour series.
Springdale is the experimental and barrel-aging arm of lager house Jack’s Abby. Its recent release Art Dekkera is a great example of the brewery’s maturing and ever-evolving barrel program. Art Dekkera started as a batch of Pearly Wit, a country-style witbier. It was then barrel-aged with brettanomyces and blended with golden ale that was aged blueberries. The end result is what’s been dubbed a wild-fermented “American-style” saison full of expressive flavor that finishes clean, crisp, tart, and, in my opinion, is a beer worth seeking out.
This beer is, by far, one of the best barrel-aged sours I’ve come across.”
Appearance and Aroma
Aged in oak barrels, the beer pours a dark straw-gold with a soft, white, lackluster head that disappears a few moments after pouring. Despite its lack of head retention, Art Dekkera features robust aromas of ripe fruit, berries, lactic acid, and a slight barnyard “funk.” When you smell it, you immediately know this beer is going to sour and oh so good.
First sip of Art Dekkera lets you know this beer is serious on flavor. Bright, bold notes of berry and stone fruit hit your tongue and are followed by a soft, yet notable acidity. Afterward, a slight earthy bitterness and oak character can be perceived on the backend. The beer finishes refreshingly clean and leaves me wanting more.
I don’t know if Springdale intended to created a sour masterpiece with Art Dekkera, but, regardless of intention, it came pretty damn close. This beer is, by far, one of the best barrel-aged sours I’ve come across and, I should note, I don’t say that lightly. The sad reality, given the circumstances of its unique creation, however, means this beer is nearly impossible to recreate, so I recommend getting your hands on a bottle before it’s too late.