Smith Mathews, brewmaster at Southbound Brewing Co., was struck with the beer bug in Belgium, and it shows.
Scattered Sun, the brewery’s second beer it’s ever made, offers a balanced witbier that could easily be mistaken for Belgian imported beer.
Brewery: Southbound Brewing Co.
Alcohol by volume: 5.2%
International Bitterness Units: 14
Style: Belgian witbier
Overall: An orange kissed, refreshing Belgian brew
Mathews, who has traveled to Belgium several times, said the country’s beer got him hooked on craft beer.
He wanted to embrace the classic witbier style by making it one of Southbound’s core brews.
“A lot of Belgian wits have other random spices,” Mathews said. “There aren’t too many craft versions of traditional Begian wits, and I think it’s true to the style.”
Belgian witbier is typically made with coriander and orange peel. Mathews said he incorporates around 10 pounds of coriander seeds into each batch, which are cracked through the brewery’s mill.
Both the orange peelings and coriander are added at the same time during the boil, which insures that they’re sanitized.
Mathews said the yeast proved the only challenge with making the beer. The Hoegaarden strain of yeast is notorious for settling out in the kegs.
To combat this, the brewery ships the kegs upside down, which helps maintain the haziness of the beer and mixes the yeast back into suspension.
“With witbier it’s kind of a thing some breweries do,” Mathews said. “It’s all that flocculation. With any yeast it’ll eventually settle out.”
Flocculation is the process by which small particles tend to clump together — or form flakes — when suspended in a liquid.
Like every beer at Southbound, Scattered Sun was inspired by music. In this case, The Doors’ 2007 album, “Scattered Sun,” sparked the name.
“We love music and we love beer, so why not put the two together?” Mathews said.
Fun origin story or not, Scattered Sun offers a refreshing wheaty brew that I’d love to invite back into my fridge on a regular basis.
Despite its low alcohol content and thirst-quenching nature, the beer still has some body, which I can get down with.
The orange peel kisses the beer with a subtle zesty flavor and gives it this lovely citrus aroma.
To all the hops-haters and German/Belgian-style lovers –– I’m calling you out, Dad –– I urge you to get your hands on a pack of Scattered Sun.
Since this is one of Southbound’s core brews, it’s not too difficult to find at bottle shops or grocery stores around Georgia.
You can visit Southbound Brewing Co. at 107 E Lathrop Ave. in Savannah.
Kelsey Richardson is the education reporter for The Times. She makes a weekly sacrifice for the newspaper by drinking tasty beer and writing about it.