Sour Beer Guide | Sour Beer Styles For Beginners

A collection of sour beer styles.

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.

Wild Beer Co – Wild Goose Chase 4.5%

Wild by name, wild by nature, this refreshing farmhouse style sour beer from Wild Beer Co. is jam-packed with gooseberries and crisp hoppy flavours. Replace that uninspired wedge of lemon on the side of a grilled fish dish with a cold glass of Goose Chase.

Ridgeside – Thicket Bramble Sour 4.5%

A refreshing and fruity sour from Leeds’ Ridgeside. Loaded with juicy berry flavours thanks to copious fruit additions this sour is a lip-puckeringly tart and bittersweet trip to the bramble patch. 

Pressure Drop – Rhubarb: A User’s Guide Berliner Weisse 3.6%

A crisp and refreshing beer from Tottenham’s Pressure Drop that’s ideal for the summer and reminiscent of a more traditional Berliner Weisse. Brewed with Yorkshire ‘Pink Gold’ rhubarb juice, infused with fresh lemon thyme, hibiscus and rose petals and dry-hopped with the German hop Huell Melon.

Buxton Trolltunga Sour IPA

Buxton – Trolltunga Gooseberry Sour IPA 6.3%

Originally brewed by Buxton Brewery collaboration with Norway’s Lervig Aktiebryggeri, Trolltunga Sour IPA is a tart and fruity twist on the celebrated style. Named after a jutting rock in Norway that rests 700 metres over lake Ringedalsvatnet, Trolltunga the beer is a far less intimidating prospect and a brilliant introduction to sour beer for hop lovers.

Puhaste – Hip Pop Hae Sea Buckthorn Sour 3.0%

Pouring with an amber glow, this sea buckthorn sour from Pühaste is refreshing and restrained beer with notes of orange and cider vinegar that are balanced by a hint of honey on the finish. The gentle lactic acidity and light body mean the palate is cleansed and another bottle is promptly required. Discover a what HonestBrew Magazine contributor James Beeson thought of the Estonian brewery’s exciting range of beers, including their sour Lime Gose here.