Liv Lawnick, brewmaster at Beacon Brewing Co., likes to build her beer recipes backward.
With the unholy sour IPA — Jucifer — she started with the beer’s name, desired alcohol by volume and an idea of the flavor she wanted to impart.
The birth of Jucifer resulted in a tart, citrusy and slightly hoppy beer that came out with a beastly 6.66% ABV.
Brewery: Beacon Brewing Co.
Alcohol by volume: 6.66%
Style: Sour IPA
Bottom line: A demon worth summoning
“I normally brew things that aren’t necessarily on the shelves,” Lawnick said. “This sour IPA isn’t as weird as some of my other ones. When I think about making my next beer, I think more of a flavor rather than a style.”
Lawnick brewed Jucifer as a kettle sour using lactobacillus, then dry-hopped it with Enigma, Centennial and Mandarina Bavaria hops.
When Lawnick came up with the flavor profile, she aimed to create an IPA concoction in line with what an actual citrus fruit tastes like, not just a hoppy beer with citrus notes.
It’s safe to say she summoned a wicked, scrumptious beer.
As much as I love drinking beer from a can and embracing fizz, this beer is best enjoyed in a glass. This sour IPA proved slightly smoother and the lemon-orange notes amplified after I released a bit of the carbon dioxide.
The result is a sinfully tasty tango between a New England-style juicy IPA and a citrusy sour.
The devil doesn’t exist without his divine counterpart.
Holy Kveik was made in conjunction with Jucifer, blessing the brewery with malty and hoppy flavors. The heavenly brew comes out at 7.77% ABV. Its name was inspired from the Norwegian strain of yeast, Voss Kveik, which was used to make it.
Despite seeming tricky, Lawnick said hitting an oddly specific ABV isn’t as difficult as one might think. She has a background in chemistry, so bending brews to her will comes naturally.
“I just do a little bit of math,” Lawnick said. “It’s not a surprise every time if you know your system.”
Making a beer that’s like biting into a citrus fruit doesn’t even scratch the surface of her experimental inventory.
Lawnick has brewed an ale with chanterelle mushrooms; made a lactose IPA with lavender and sage; and crafted a Belgian blonde with figs.
Since Beacon Brewing is a brewpub, many of its menu items have recommended beer pairings. Lawnick recommends drinking the mushroom beer, Advice from a Caterpillar, with the brewpub’s ramen.
I’m already planning a weekend trip to LaGrange, just so I can indulge in Beacon Brewing’s offerings.
If you’re not keen on driving to the brewpub, you can find some of its seasonal and core beers in bottle shops around the Atlanta area.
Beacon Brewing is located at 700 Lincoln St. in LaGrange. To check out the brewpub’s beer list, visit beacon.beer.