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Sour Beers

Sour beers are known for their tart and acidic flavours and have been enjoyed for centuries, offering a refreshing burst of flavour to those who seek out its complexity. New waves of flavours have been inviting visitors to dip their toes into the world of craft beers, with the addition of household flavours such as Irn Bru or Raspberry.

What Is Sour Beer?

Traditionally in brewing ‘souring’ is an unwanted quality that brewers go to great lengths to avoid. What makes sour beer brewing so unique is that the opposite approach is taken, the beer is in fact sour by design. The enhanced acidity creates a ‘sour’, less hoppy taste that is a strong contrast against the typical bitterness/sweetness of conventional beers.

How Is Sour Beer Made?

The process is fairly complex and the secret lies in the fermentation. There are three distinct approaches that create very different beers: fast (kettle souring), spontaneous & mixed fermentation. The essence lies in cultivating specific bacteria- Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Acetobacter & Brettanomyces yeast.

Fast fermentation leverages Lactobacillus for quick souring before regular yeast fermentation. Resulting in a crisp and clean lactic sourness, ideal for styles such as a Berliner Weisse or Gose.

Spontaneous fermentation produces a “funky” and earthy flavour due to the wild yeasts. Common styles include Lambic & Gueze.

Mixed fermentation creates a nuanced sourness with layers of complexity, blending wild and cultured yeasts. Styles include American Wild Ale, Flanders Red Ale, and Oud Bruin.

What Does Sour Beer Taste Like?

As the name suggests, you should expect a lip-smacking tartness! low bitterness and they can range from lightly to highly carbonated. It has a lot of appeal to those who prefer something more like a cider.

If you’re looking for something to counter the acidity, a Fruit Sour may be the one for you. leaning into natural sweet and aromatic fruit flavours to create a delicate balance. This style has been pulling in new craft drinkers from across the globe.

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