This is a fun one. Turning Violet is the newest installment in our beloved Kettle Sour series. It isn’t shy — it packs a punch of serious blueberry flavor with a splash of nostalgia for good measure.
If you’re a sour fan looking for the next big thing, this beer is your new go-to. If you’re not a sour fan, this beer just may turn you into one (if it doesn’t turn you violet first, of course). Enough kidding around, let’s get to talking about what makes this beer so special.
Where does the name Turning Violet come from?
Justin: Lol, it’s a reference to the line from Willy Wonka “You’re turning Violet, Violet” when she ate the meal-flavored bubble gum which didn’t have the kinks around the blueberry pie worked out.
Brian: We are creative types and made it up ourselves with no help from nobody. And violet is Justin’s favorite color.
Describe this style of beer:
Justin: Imperial Dark Sour. Not something you would say is a classic style, but the style line does a great job describing what you’re getting into.
Brian: This is a kettle sour. The secret ingredient is yogurt. And the secret word is… still a secret…
Describe its unique flavor:
Justin: Unique! First, it comes in a little over 9% abv, so there is a pleasant warming note, but no overt traces of the alcohol. On top of that, dark sours are notoriously tricky to balance between the sour and dark flavors without creating off-putting flavors. We focused on the “softer” dark flavors of maple and subtle chocolate versus coffee and dark chocolate. Blueberry seemed like the perfect fruit to blend the two. Blueberries are notorious for a sour bite, but their fairly dense skins and pulpiness lend a darker fruit flavor as well. We added a tiny hint of maple and dark cherry (think lime zest when cooking with blueberries) to make the flavors “pop.”
Brian: Rich blueberry and dark fruits.
What stands out to you the most during your time spent developing Turning Violet?
Justin: Pulling the blueberries out of the fermenter after they’d been soaking in the beer for nearly a week. Oh my god. I managed to get half of them on my pants. The smell was amazing, but it was pretty sloppy.
Brian: Asking graphic designer Julie Goetzke to put an Oompa Loompa and a chubby version of the Blood Orange kettle sour girl on the can.
If you could pair this beer with food from a place around town, what would it be?
Justin: A peanut butter burger. Agave’s Blueberry Hill burger would be a particularly excellent choice as well.
Brian: An omelet or a quiche from Urban Olive. Something creamy, the acidity will cut that and make a nice, pleasant breakfast taste with this 9% Imperial Dark Sour.