“He was a heathen, the only unbeliever on the island, a gross materialist who believed that when he died he was dead. He believed merely in fair play and square-dealing.” – Jack London, The Heathen
The Heathen in Jack London’s South Sea Tales is only once referred to by colour. The Heathen in Galway Bay Bars is a Black Berliner Weisse – a sour, session strength ale.
I walked to Against the Grain today, hoping to get one of these, and the first thing to bowl me over was the price tag. If for a session beer in a 330ml glass, I was shocked to be handing over as little as €2.75 for any beer. The beer was half foam when it was first poured, but the barman diligently continued the pour until it was one finger of foam, and solid black the rest of the way through.
The first mouthful is very much a sour cherry flavour, but quickly becomes bread-like on the aftertaste. A sourdough seems almost too obvious a specification. It is a very tart beer, with a vast variety of biting fruit coming through with each sip, always developing to the same bread.
I’m not sure if this beer is sold in 330ml because there is a limited amount, or if there is a fear that people wouldn’t enjoy a full pint. In the same way that the Eternalist arrived in a well thought out 375ml bottle, I assume some consideration went into the serving size of this beer too.