Sour Beer Explained
When you open a beer, draw the glass to your lips and take a sip, sourness isn’t what you expect to greet your taste buds. However, unique takes on classic sour beer styles are quickly becoming a favourite style amongst beer lovers thanks to their refreshingly unique flavours and versatility when it comes to food pairings.
Perhaps one of the most divisive collective of brews to remerge thanks to the ‘craft beer revolution’, traditional sour styles such as gose, Berliner Weisse and Flanders Red Ale are quickly becoming firm favourites for enlightened modern beer drinkers. Those seeking a beer that’s even more complex than many of the more hop-forward contemporary offerings, look no further. Sour power is on the rise!
New Zealand’s 8 Wired are consistently producing an eclectic range of beers that boast delicious and “funky” sour notes. With a selection that extends to barrel-aged, mixed fermentation and spontaneously fermented lambic-inspired beers, the brewery are offering a massive array of of flavours for beer lovers to explore. However, for a go-to brew we recommend their Cucumber Hippy Berliner Weisse: a light and hoppy sour beer inspired by traditional Berliner Weisse ales, then remixed with fresh NZ grown cucumbers. Naturally soured by live cultures & hopped with American & NZ hops. Cool as a cucumber. Fellow Kiwis North End Brewing are also responsible for a series of modern takes on classic styles including unmissable farmhouse-style, spontaneously fermented beers that take full advantage of the tart flavours produced by wild yeast strains and bacteria plucked from the open air.
Despite these tart offerings often proving to be a ‘love it or hate it’ drinking experience to many, such distinct departures in flavour are encouraging those who wouldn’t typically plump for a beer to branch out.
Brooklyn’s Stillwater Artisinal are no strangers to progressive approaches to traditional sours with a myriad of bold and beautiful cans available throughout the year including a Dry-hopped plum sour and a barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc Grape Berliner Weisse.
The similarities between sour beer and drier, more acidic drinks such as cider and white wine are evident in terms of both flavour and a lighter mouthfeel, while the common addition of fruit to the brewing process ensures the finished product is delicate, refreshing, easily paired with food and perfect for a barmy summer’s evening. Discover our full selection of sours here.
Want the ultimate intro to sour beer? Get your hands on our Sour Power 9 beer mixed case for a seasonal selection of HonestBrew’s favourite sour styles.