The first time I encountered Charlie Foxtrot and Texian Brewing Company out of Richmond, Texas was at the Big Texas Brewfest 2015. Charlie Foxtrot was on my “must try” list because I was just then discovering sour ales and this brewery was new to Texas and brewing a Berliner Weissbier. But the interesting thing was that they were brewing an “Imperial” Berliner Weissbier. Now I like a good sour ale, but many of them sit in the 3-5% ABV range, particularly Berliner Weissbiers. It doesn’t make them less refreshing, but it does make them less woohoo! What caught my eye about Charlie Foxtrot was that it sat at 7.50% ABV. Total score!
Just a short aside, a Berliner Weissbier is essentially a sour wheat ale, which is what is plastered on Charlie Foxtrot’s label. They take a traditional wheat ale and ferment it with lactobacillus, which is used in various other sour ales, such as the American Wild Ale and the Flanders Red.
When Caleb Wilson, the head brewer at Texian, poured that 2 oz sample, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. It was a full bodied and complex brew. I’ve been looking for it ever since. Caleb assured me it was coming to Fort Worth, and sure enough, it showed up here a few months ago. At first it was limited release but later on the bottles were flowing like water. However, when I went back last week to grab another they were nowhere to be had. I’m not sure if the supply ran dry temporarily or if the season for Charlie Foxtrot in Fort Worth has simply ended.
I drank my first full bottle with 4 friends during a sour ale bottle share about 6 weeks ago. I remember Charlie Foxtrot was a favorite amongst the 8 other brews. However, each of us only had about 4 oz so it was hard to really dive into the beer. I had one bottle left, and that was all for me. I recently cracked it open, took the obligatory beer portraits (Charlie F. was quite photogenic) and sat down to enjoy it.
It poured a cloudy brown amber with a fizzy and very fleeting head that was reminiscent of a soda. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pour like this before. The nose was sour apples or perhaps apple cider but pungent. It took me back to the crab apple tree from my hometown in Canada. The taste almost matched the aroma. It was prominently tart green apples, but not mouth puckering. There was a nice little carbonation bite in the middle and at the finish. No hops. No malt. Just fruit! The texture was like a soda, thin and fizzy but refreshing.
I’m very curious to try it again. However, right now, all I have in the cellar from Texian is their Donkey Lady, which I’ll be reviewing in the near future.