Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is a legend in the cocktail world. Now, the Bum is building a name in the beer world. Today, New Orleans’ Urban South Brewery unveiled a new brew, Latitude 29, the first in a collaborative series of tiki flavored “Beachbum Goses.”
Inspired by the signature cocktail (eight-year Demerara rum, passion fruit purée, Madagascar vanilla syrup, orange, pineapple and lemon) of tiki mecca, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s Latitude 29, the gose hits the drinker with brightness and acidity. Sweet passionfruit notes follow and then a mellow vanilla embrace finishes out the experience.
In short, the flavor profile would make Don the Beachcomber proud and still please the brew crew. “I love this partnership. There’s an entire spectrum of drinker that shies away from what we do because of their preference for beer. And yet, tiki makes for great beer,” said Latitude’s GM and Head Bartender Brad Smith. “Urban South’s mastery of brewing is the perfect vehicle to make this happen, and each release will be better than the last.”
Urban South’s burgeoning brew facility and taproom on the edge of the Mississippi River is peppered with vintage video games, picnic tables, and even an old school “canned ham” style trailer. The fun and relaxed vibe in the decor also permeates into the flavor profiles of their regionally celebrated beers like Paradise Park and Holy Roller. Urban South was a perfect match for the tiki set.
“Honestly, at first we weren’t sure if they [Latitude 29] would even entertain us. Then, you go meet the Bum and he’s chilling,” recalled Head Brewer Alex Flores. “Tiki’s very laid-back and so are we. The whole venture is very fun and interesting.”
However, when it came to the brewing, laid back yielded to precision. The process begins with very mellow Hallertaur Blanc hops for brewing. After primary fermentation, the juice was moved to secondary tanks where ‘treatments’ are added to provide the tiki notes. The result is a complex, citrus, and refreshing sour that clocks with a manageable 5% ABV and very nuanced 10 IBU’s.
The Latitude 29 expression is just the first of a seasonal series. “It started last summer when we experimented with a series of fruited Goses inspired by cocktails. We played with margaritas, mojitos—standard flavors,” explained Flores. “This year, we wanted to do something a little more out of the box, test some limits.”
The first batch is now available at Urban South’s tap room on draft and in bottles. However, when it’s gone, it’s gone. Then, fans will have to wait until April when Urban South releases their next Beachbum Gose, a beer version of Latitude’s Outcast of the Islands (London Gin, Persian lime, cinnamon, ginger, almond, and anise).
Flores was particularly excited about the upcoming expressions. “We’re going to work with anise, cinnamon, a lot of things that don’t traditionally go in a sour. In cocktails and now beer, tiki is exotic in nature. The genre utilizes so many unique ingredients that you don’t normally think would go well together,” he told Neat Pour. “In the US we make so much IPA. It’s nice to get out and do something adventurous.”
Urban South is located in New Orleans at 1645 Tchoupitoulas St. The Taproom is open Monday through Wednesday 12pm-9pm, Thursday-Friday 12pm-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm, and Sunday 11am—9pm.
Photos by Randy P Schmidt. IG: @randypschmidt