Empirical Brewery – Space for Everyone

Sour beers are mysterious and captivate the imagination – not unlike Space. It’s only natural that Empirical Brewery would combine these two awe-inspiring ideas into one: Space for Everyone, a sour ale with peaches and plums. I love this concept and am thrilled that they collaborated with Chicago’s Adler Planetarium to brew this unique ale.

While the idea is stellar, I won’t lie to you – this beer leaves a little to be desired. Not all sours need (or even should) have a huge pucker effect, but this one is incredibly tame. It’s a bit acidic on the nose and tickles the back of the tongue, but the build up leaves me a little disappointed. Considering this beer attempts to offer the same promise that the excitement and intrigue of Space do, it does feel like it barely breaks gravity and drag.

Maybe I’m thinking about it incorrectly. Perhaps this beer tries to be more inclusive, with its true proposition plainly outlined in its name. As I consider the beer from this angle, a sour that anyone can enjoy, it becomes far more enjoyable. Too often a style can exaggerate its defining characteristics, which works for some, but may exclude others.

The peaches and plums are subtle, much like the rest of this beer. It’s not too bitter, not too malty, and not too sour. It may just be exactly what it promises, a sour for everyone. Looking at it through this lens, it’s harder for me to fault what they’ve accomplished: a true entry-level sour beer.

With this in mind, I doubt I’d buy many more of these. However, I am definitely not disappointed to finish off the ones we have.