Mr. Dunderbak’s has been a staple for beer lovers for nearly as long as Tampa has had breweries.
Even back in its former location at University Mall, Dunderbak’s was known as the place for import and craft beers, also doubling as a monthly meeting space for local homebrew group Tampa Bay BEERS.
However, it wasn’t until 2016 that Dunderbak’s launched a beer line of its own: Dunderbräu.
Owner J.B. Ellis has since churned out a respectable selection of true-to-style German beers, ranging from Kölsch-style ales to smoked märzen, as well as beers that do not feature an umlaut.
Some of Dunderbräu’s most ambitious brews have been inspired by Belgian lambic producers, including an ever-evolving series of wild ales known as the Solera Projekt. Similar to a sherry solera system, each batch in the line contains remnants of the previous batches, with a portion of each subsequent beer representing a blend of each previous one.
The latest iteration in the line is Solera Projekt #5, an absolute knockout of a sour ale. It pours a deep ruby, with its quickly dissipating head offering a hint of the beer’s clean acidity along with an aroma of fresh raspberries.
Up front, the beer is loaded with juicy blackberry notes that quickly fade into a bone-dry sourness registering just past moderate: more tart plum than sour candy. The beer transforms again upon swallowing: now the flavor is round, with a fine malt character that adds a hint of bread to the tart berry and stone-fruit notes.
Due to the nature of the solera-style blending, each batch is one-and-done. So, wild-ale enthusiasts should pay Mr. Dunderbak’s at 14929 Bruce B Downs Blvd. in Tampa a visit sooner rather than later.
Solera Projekt #5 is a wonderfully complex, world-class beer, and a goblet-full will only set you back $6. Don’t miss it.
— Justin Grant
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