The would-be special guest star of the Lervig line-up is Trolltunga, a gooseberry sour IPA that shadows as a special guest in the Buxton roster, it being a collaboration between the two, brewed and bottled by the latter in England.
Sour IPA is sort of a two-birds-one-stone deal, combining two of beer geeks' sweetheart styles in one, and Trolltunga is evidence that that sort of Frankenstyle hybridization can work, damn it.
At the first flick of the switch, bright, sharp sparks of coppery and dank pellet hops, right from the bag, leap from the bottle. It isn't long until this is joined by trails of sour fruit, drifting to the top of the lab from the operating table below. The immediate impression on tasting is of grapefruit juice - not in the way we usually mean grapefruit when we talk about IPA, but like actual grapefruit juice - bitter, sour and tangy fleshy fruit. The citric acid on the front of this wraps around and hides much of the IPA part of the beer's DNA until, near the end, it becomes clear for a second and allows a fleeting glimpse of fresh, leafy greens through the sour patchwork of its glorious, reanimated face. Overall, the beer is much less an abomination, and much more a sour and juicy triumph.
It more than scratches an itch, even if it might upset some sections of the crowd who don't believe that anything good and sour can exist without festering barrels strung up by cobwebs, cobwebs adorned with dust and dust crawling with local ambient yeast that is just dying to spontaneously inoculate some innocent virginal liquid.