The Tap Brewing Company has been brewing a variety of year-round and seasonal ales and lagers in Haverhill, MA since 2003. All of their selections are available on draft (or cask) at the brewpub, but they also bottle some of their beers for distribution in MA. One of The Tap’s most sought-after beers is Intergalactic Acid, a Berliner Weisse style sour ale brewed in the Spring/Summer months. One of the first steps of the brewing process is called mashing, where crushed grains are steeped in hot water to extract sugars as well as other compounds that add flavor and color. Mashing is typically done over an hour or two. For Intergalactic Acid the mixture of barley and wheat is mashed for 36 hours which causes some of the sugars to break down into lactic acid thus giving the beer it’s distinct acidic/sour flavor. The Tap Intergalactic Acid is available in the pub and in 22 oz. bottles.
The Tap Intergalactic Acid pours a pale yellow, very hazy with a mild white head. You can smell the acidity in this beer, think of the common underlying smell of acidic food (vinegar, citrus fruit), and you’ll have an idea of what I mean. The taste is solidly sour, bitter lemon, barnyard, a touch of vinegar. The wheat comes through a bit, especially in the finish, which is bone dry with a lingering tartness. The beer is very light bodied, and at 3.0% ABV it’s a true session beer by any definition. I’m still finding my footing with the sour styles, so I struggled a bit with this. There isn’t much else in the beer to counteract the sour flavors (I’m sure that is a good thing to many of the sour beer enthusiasts). Many Berliner Weisse beers are served mixed with a small amount of fruit syrups to balance the flavor. The Tap offers this as an option if you order Intergalactic Acid at the brewery. I would definitely like to try that at some point, looks like I need to make a trip up to Haverhill!