The wine-beer hybrid is now firmly established in American craft brewing, but the freedom to push flavor themes remains boundless. Case in point: a sangria-style kettle sour called Harvest Swoon, which balances the tartness of sauvignon blanc grapes with key lime, passion fruit, and peach. This is the second year that Topa Topa Brewing Company — which is headquartered in Ventura but an established presence in Santa Barbara thanks to their Funk Zone taproom — teamed up with Carhartt Family Wines in Los Olivos on such a hybrid, and this one also relies on sour yeast cultures from The Rare Barrel in Berkeley to bring the tang. There’s not even a lick of hops in the batch, leaving the fruit to shine, but it does pack a medium punch at 6.9 percent ABV. The overall effect is much smoother than many kettle sours, perfect for sunny days or, let’s be honest, breakfast. This batch, which was feted during an end-of-harvest pig roast at Peasants Feast in Solvang last week, is probably gone by now, but watch for a rosé in February.
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