Iceberg lager and cloudberries, aka baked apple sour

While I enjoy alcoholic beverages quite a lot, one thing I’ve never really gotten into is beer. I’ve been to beer festivals, been to too many beer tastings that I’ve lost count, but it’s just never been something I’ve really loved or looked forward to. I particularly have never, ever been able to develop a test for IPAs (India pale ales). However, there are exceptions to this: I do enjoy cider (is that considered beer…?), plus I do love a number of fruit beers I’ve tried over the years, particularly the pear, pomegranate, and grapefruit Schofferhofers we discovered we loved in Germany in 2013.

On the second day of this trip while visiting the Quidi Vidi fishing village just outside of St. John’s, Chris suggested we check out the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company and try a beer flight. The bartender was really friendly and did a custom flight of four beers based on what we said we like and don’t like (fruity, nothing too hoppy). They are most well known for their Iceberg lager, which is a North American style lager brewed from water that is genuinely collected from icebergs found off the coast of the province.

In our flight, we tried the Iceberg lager (very clean and fresh tasting), a baked apple sour (cloudberry) beer, a mango-peach tinged IPA, plus a wheaty saison beer. The baked apple sour was definitely my favorite, and with further discovery while doing other tastings on our trip and some quick Google searches, I discovered that “baked apple sour” is synonymous with cloudberries, which is the same as bake apple berries and Nordic berries. They are local to this region and also found in Nordic countries and Scotland, plus other temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They grow wild, not to mention they are pretty resistant to being domesticated, so when used or sold, they are pretty much always picked wild. Cloudberries are most often used in liqueurs, wines, and jams, and this makes sense given how delicate and tart the berries are. They resemble raspberries and are “cloud-like” in their shape, extremely seedy, and are a bright-orange hue. We lucked out on our drive back into St. John’s from Elliston and Bonavista this afternoon and passed a man on the road side selling mason jars full of cloudberries. I likely paid the most I’ve ever paid for fruit after jackfruit or durian — $15 CAD for a pint-sized jar of cloudberries. But I figured that since one of our biggest joys is trying and discovering local produce and foods when we travel that it was a worthy investment. And boy, were these little guys tart! They were quite sour with a slightly sweet after taste and while jarred, it seemed like their juices were oozing out, creating somewhat of a fermented, alcoholic flavor as we ate them. And now, I have their mason jar to take home and remember them by.

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