It sounds like a weird holiday to celebrate, but Sourest Day is real and one that celebrates everything sour on October 25th.
In honor of this strange day, we’re celebrating with sour beer, which as a category has exploded in popularity and interest over the past few years. Since sour beer is such a diverse category, we’re going to try to give you some options that run the field, from light to extremely puckering, so you can decide just where you’d like to take your chances.
Without further ado, lets get our pucker on.
Ah Kettle Sour’s, the ugly step-child of the sour beer community. Yes, it’s divisive and yes it can be seen as cheating, but it does deserve a place on this list. One of the best American Wild beers in Canada is Jelly King from Bellwoods Brewing. The beer is juicy, sour, and thirst-quenching. Lots of fuzzy peach, tangerine, and cedar hop aroma and flavours with very low bitterness.
This was once one of the most popular beer styles in Berlin, and carries a very low alcohol percentage (usually around 3%). Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel (best know for their Peche Mortel) has a Solstice d’été Berliner style beer that absolutely crushes it, while also innovating. The interesting sour character is complemented by the addition of a heaping pile of whole fruit with a result that is an incredibly refreshing sour ale where the fruit is allowed to carry through without restraint.
Flanders Red Ale
If you’ve ever had a sour beer remind you of red wine vinegar, chances are this is it. One of the boldest examples of the style comes from the Vancouver staple Storm Brewing, whose Flanders is an intense sour fruit flavor of cherry, some sweet undertones as well very tangy vinegary taste.
Lambics are traditionally spontaneously fermented, and blended to bring out rich flavours and aromas that otherwise can’t exist. Many are also fruit based, including the Sour No. 3 from Central City Brewing. The beer is infused with local raspberries and aged for more than two years in a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon barrels and French oak Foeders.
Gose stands out from the rest of the list simply due to the fact that it tends to lean heavily into flavours of coriander and salt, making this sour beer a very unique offering. Field House Brewing’s Sour Wheat Gose is a perfect representation of the style. It of course has notes of coriander, but adds in elderflower and is brewed with the finest sea salt, hand-harvested by Vancouver Island Salt Co.
The grandaddy of sour beers, Oud Bruins are time consuming and need strict control, they also produce some of the darkest sours on the market and arguably some of the tastiest. No question the best produced Oud Bruin in the country goes to Strange Fellows Brewing’s Reynard. It’s complex with a cherry sweetness and a cider-like tartness, the finish has a delicate malt backbone and subtle hints of vanilla.