U.P. brewer Ore Dock to pour strawberry rhubarb sour brown ale Saturday

Tom Gromak
The Detroit News

Like rhubarb? Like strawberries? Like dry sours? Make your first stop Saturday at Ore Dock Brewing.

The U.P. brewery is pouring Ruby Sour, its red-wine-barrel-aged brown sour, during the early-entry hour for Michigan Brewers Guild Enthusiast members, but could still be available when the Summer Beer Festival opens to the general admission participants. We got to try it on Friday.

It’s super dry, slightly sweet, malty, and tastes of red wine up front, then finishes with a punch of strawberry and tart rhubarb. If sours are your thing, you’ll like this one.

Jordan Frazier, an Ore Dock bartender, sales rep, festival aide and jack-of-all-trades has one more to his credit: Fruit picker. He harvested the rhubarb and strawberries in the beer, and says it’s near and dear to him.

“I picked all the rhubarb from my grandparents’. The strawberries came from Pelkie, which is probably 15 miles from where my grandparents live in Baraga County,” Frazier said. “It’s all U.P. fruit, then we threw that in red wine barrels for two years. It’s sour brown, so it’s really tasty. You get that nice, tart bite to it that you look for in rhubarb.”

“It’s just dry, and it chalks your mouth up. You’ve got a nice malt behind it, and some strawberries to bring some sweetness,” he said.

Jordan Frazier talks beer with a visitor to the Ore Dock Brewing stand at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Riverside Park in Ypsilanti.

Ore Dock’s general lineup at the Marquette brewpub is focused on the Belgian styles, and the brewery has 24 barrels for aging beers. “We are one of the only breweries in the U.P. that are doing souring, especially wine barrel.”

That said, after Ruby Sour, one of Frazier’s favorite beers at this festival is Berserker, Ore Dock’s entry in the very busy hazy, juicy New England IPA space. It’s available, too, at Ore Dock’s stand in Tent 2 of the Summer Beer Festival.