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Sour Ales
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Sour Ales

Sour beers are made by either “spontaneous fermentation” using wild yeast, by aging a beer in a wooden barrel for up to three years, or both. In the case of barrel aging, bacteria and wild yeast that live in the barrel then begin to do their thing to the aging brew, imparting a sour quality, but also adding something wonderful. That “something wonderful” varies from barrel type to barrel type, by location and likely by other factors (there is still a fair amount of guess-work here), but generally fruity notes are most apparent. In addition to what the bacteria and wild yeast add, the beer picks up characteristics from the barrel itself, much like a whiskey or rum.

These aged beers are then often blended with new beer, which both mellows the sourness and helps produce a more consistent product. Some “sour” beers are hardly sour at all, having either been aged minimally or blended with a lot of unaged beer (or both), while others will make you sit up and take notice.



Lindemans Pêche Lambic PDF Print E-mail
Featured Beers - Sour Ales

Lindemans Pêche Lambic | Recommended by Dave McGraw for Alcoholmanac Magazine

 

Lindemans Pêche Lambic

Lindemans Brewery | Vlezenbeek , Belgium

2.50% ABV


Recommended By Dave McGraw

Among the world’s rarest brews, lambics are the only beers fermented by 100% wild, airborne yeast. Exclusively produced in the Senne River Valley near Brussels, a region approximately 15 x 75 miles in area with farming traditions over 500 years old, the lambic brewing tradition takes years to complete. This particular region is special not just for its geographical composition of small hills covered with cherry trees, but also the multiple farms growing hops, barley and wheat. Benefitting from a mild climate and the multiple wild yeast strains, some of the most unique flavors of beer are created.

With over 200 years of brewing expertise, Lindemans of Belgium is still a family owned and operated brewery. This peach-flavored lambic fruit beer is exactly what you hope it is. Ideally served at 45ºF, this temperature allows the beer’s aroma of fresh peaches to fill the room. A pure golden color with a touch of carbonation create a perfect balance on your palate. It’s crisp, light and refreshing and tastes exactly like peaches. It even has a mouthfeel reminiscent of the fruit!

Pour into a fluted glass and enjoy with peach melba, sorbet, peach cobbler or Belgian waffles.

 
Rosie PDF Print E-mail
Featured Beers - Sour Ales

a picture of Lakefront Brewery's Rosie
Lakefront Brewery
Milwaukee, WI - USA

They Say: “Roeselare Style Oak Aged Sour Ale Fermented and Aged with Wisconsin Cherries”

We Say: Lakefront’s take on a Belgian sour style poured a burnt orange color under a quickly diminishing, pale white head. The aroma was of tart cherries (no surprise there, as it is both fermented and aged with Wisconsin cherries), and had a slight, medicinal character to the nose as well. A strong tartness with lingering cherry flavor gives way to a sweet aftertaste. Light bready undertones merge with the cherry flavor to create an almost cherry pie-like flavor. Swirling the glass really helps this beer and ensures an excellent flavor balance.

 
Petrus Aged Pale PDF Print E-mail
Featured Beers - Sour Ales

a picture of Petrus Aged Pale
Brouwerij Bavik-De Brabandere
Harelbeke-Bavikhove, Belgium


They Say: “Our Petrus Aged Pale is an undiluted old beer, only to be exported to the US.”

We Say: Poured a light, pale gold with an effervescent head. The aroma was reminiscent of champagne, or perhaps of sparkling white grape juice. It had a sour forefront of lemon and grapefruit with very little hop character. The crisp tartness makes your mouth water. When we think of sour beer, this is what we think of. This is an excellent beverage with incredible, but not overwhelming, tartness!

 
Bacchus PDF Print E-mail
Featured Beers - Sour Ales

a picture of Bacchus sour ale
Castle Brewery
Ingelmunster, Belgium

They Say: “A typical Flemish beer with a pleasant wine-like taste and a rich past. This dark brown beer, which is matured in oak casks, has a slightly acid aftertaste.”

We Say: Bacchus poured an amber, garnet color with a thick, tight head that diminished quickly. The nose was yeasty and grain-like with raspberry and currant undertones. The flavor was far more beer like than some of the others we sampled, but also carried tart cherry and raspberry flavors. It had a dry finish with a lingering, tart fruit flavor.

 
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