If you ask beer geeks what their favorite sour is you will probably get some very enthusiastic responses. Outside beer geeks I bet you’ll get “what’s a sour beer?” or just crickets. Depending where they hail from, beer geeks might rattle off some American beers like New Belgium La Folie, Russian River Consecration, or Allagash Interlude. A couple Belgian standbys are Duchesse De Bourgogne and Lindemanns Cuvee Renne Geuze. If you haven’t taken the leap yet, I highly advise seeking out one of the awesome beers listed above.
Convincing someone to try their first sour is sometimes like saying “here try this, it’s awful.” The word “sour” can be a little off-putting to some, but most first taste reactions I have seen are somewhere in the range of “wow, that’s not what I expected” to “holy business, that’s awesome.”
Over the past few years sour beers have been gaining serious popularity in the craft beer world. The Great American Beer Festival first introduced a sour category in 2002, and had only 15 entries. Last year, shockingly, GABF had a total of 119 entries in the 4 sour categories. Despite the recent explosion of sours, I doubt they will ever reach the popularity and availability of pale ales, but they sure are a venture away from the everyday, which is exactly what a lot of craft drinkers are looking for.
Do you have a favorite? Or, do you not see what the fuss is about? Let us know, as we plan Colorado Beer Week for next April we will try to make sure you have the opportunity to try something new, or enjoy something you know you already love.