'sour beer' on Serious Eats

Where to Drink Sour Beer in Chicago

Lambic. Gueuze. Wild Ale. Oud Bruin. Flanders Red. Berliner Weisse. Lately, when I belly up to new and familiar bars alike and begin dissecting the beer offerings, I hunt for these terms like X's on a treasure map. Thankfully, there's a cohort of ambitious, beer-focused bars in Chicago that not only stock their cellars with obscure and intriguing large-format sours, but also reliably devote one or two tap lines to the tart stuff. More

We Taste the Lost Abbey Ultimate Box Set

The famed San Marcos, CA brewery released a different small batch beer every month of 2012. They produced about 100 cases of each classic-rock inspired brew, and released 350 of the bottles in the brewery tasting room for on-site consumption only. The remaining bottles of each beer were saved for the Ultimate Box Set—no bottles were ever released individually for distribution or sale. More

Homebrewing: Berliner Weisse

Light, tart, and cloudy, Berliner Weisse is a style that has very few contemporaries in the beer world. It's a sessionable beer—most style guides put it at a maximum 3.8% ABV—with a dry finish and essentially no hop character. Don't be fooled, though, because these light ales pack a real punch in the flavor department. The modern Berliner Weisse is fermented with the souring bacteria Lactobacillus along with a regular ale yeast. Lactobacillus produces a sharp, clean sour flavor that pairs perfectly with the simple malt bill and low hop profile. More

Homebrewing: Introduction to Sour Ales

Sour ales are one of the biggest things in craft beer right now. The style that started out as a niche Belgian import not too long ago has spread like wildfire across American bars and breweries. Producing sour beer at home can be difficult, but with some experimentation and education there's nothing stopping a homebrewer from creating a tart and funky ale just like the best of the commercial brewers. More

One Big Bottle: Ithaca Brute

Though wild yeasts are gaining a good deal of traction in the U.S., straight-ahead sour ales from American breweries are still few. Sure, there's Brettanomyces this and wild that, but often they're a lefthand tweak on a brewery's existing beer or style. Ithaca Beer Co.'s Brute is one of the few, and a fine one at that. It's definitely in the top tier of American sour ales. More

Getting Wild with Two Brett Beers from Crooked Stave

Many brewers still bristle at the idea of intentionally allowing wild yeast into their breweries for fear of contamination, but Chad Yakobson, the brewer behind Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project has rolled out the welcome mat. Yakobson launched Crooked Stave earlier this year, brewing Brettanomyces-focused beers in Fort Collins, Colorado, with the goal of expanding the expectations of what the wild yeast can bring to beer. More

Beer History: The 'Other' Sour Beers

Even among the craft beer cognoscenti, sour beers were something of a rarity just a few years ago; the New York Times noted that less than a decade ago, sour beers of all sorts could only muster up 15 entries at the Great American Beer Festival. Last year, there were 149, in four separate categories—certainly an indication of growth. While it's true that the majority of sour beers available today are of Belgian origin, (and there is much variety among those) there is plenty of historical precedent elsewhere for sour styles of beer. More

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