Author Topic: Sour  (Read 768 times)

Offline jimmykx250

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Sour
« on: July 10, 2015, 09:09:19 PM »
As a guy who has never had a sour beer I'm curious. But honestly it doesn't sound good. Looking for commercial examples you guys might recommend.
Thanks
Jimmykx250

Offline Stevie

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Re: Sour
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 10:33:31 PM »
It's going to vary by region, but you should be able to find rodenbach or new Belgians la folie most anywhere.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Sour
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 10:53:11 PM »
Jimmy,
A couple things to keep in mind if you've never had any sour beer. Think of sour beer being totally unlike any regular beer, with the closest kinship being maybe a really dry saison with a moderately soured berliner. But generally,  the world of sour beer is pretty broad and often drastically different than regular beer. I wouldnt start with a lambic. Lambic is kind of the kimchi of beers, quite funky and flat. My suggestion would be to start with a berliner, and maybe a brett saison, then jump to whatever. Also, give them a good chance. Dont think beer when you take that first sip. Many of them are more like a dry funky champagne than a beer. Plus many of the flavors that brett contributes are unlike anything else found in the food/beverage world. Hence the odd descriptors thrown around like barnyard and horsey. To me, a good brett is more like fermented pineapple with fresh leather. But its its own thing, so dont expect it to be exactly like anything.

Try the three sip rule. Let the 1st sip surprise you. Shake it off, you'll live. On the second sip start trying to figure out what that is. By the 3rd sip you'll be hooked. Should be...

Some common off flavors to look for are acetic acid (vinegar), buteric acid (vomity), and isovaleric acid (stinky feet). If you find a beer with those, its not good. Sour beer shouldnt be like that. Dont think that is what it should be like, and call us all crazy for drinking that.

Have fun!

Offline jimmykx250

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Re: Sour
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2015, 11:46:58 PM »
Thanks for the input. I will move forward with open eyes.
Jimmykx250

Offline erockrph

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Re: Sour
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2015, 01:46:44 AM »
In the world of wild beer, there are sour beers, funky beers and beers that are both sour and funky. There are also varying degrees of both characters. Make sure to sample the spectrum before you come to any conclusions.

If you're going to ease yourself in, then Bruery Hottenroth and DFH Festina Peche are good entry-level beers on the sour side, and Orval is a good start on the funky side. If you want both tart and funky, then a milder gueuze like Gueuze Fond Tradition or Boon Gueuze might be a good place to start.
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Offline johnnyb

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Re: Sour
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2015, 03:26:51 AM »
Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour (Style: Oud Bruin) is a pretty good "entry level" sour that I think has fairly wide distribution.

Also, if you can find some good Gose that might be a decent bet.

My first two sours (both lambics) over 20 years ago tasted like puke and I refused to try another sour until a couple of years ago. Now I'm totally kicking myself for missing out all these years. I'm drinking hard to catch up.

Offline bboy9000

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Re: Sour
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2015, 03:52:04 AM »
+1 to Jim's recommendation on the three sip rule.  My first sour was Monk's Cafe.  On my first sip I thought I had some old milk.  By sip three or four it was a nice tart cherry flavor.

In addition to Monk's Cafe and Rodenbach I recommend Boon Kriek as a good entry level sour.  There's the whole line of Lindeman's but it's like the college girl sweet wine version of Lambic.  It's not really Lambic.
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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Sour
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2015, 12:29:19 PM »
Look for a place that serves Jolly Pumpkin (or if you are lucky enough, visit one of their tap rooms). I've found that they provide an excellent range of sours, funky sours and bretty "not sours".

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Sour
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2015, 04:25:20 PM »
Rodenbach and Goudenbond are good starting points. They are both blended beers with clean and sour beer. Goudenbond is brett-free so it's just sour while Rodenbach will give you both brett and acid.

Lindemans Cuvee Rene is a gueuze with a good amount of sourness and funk. It's widely available and very reasonably priced among lambic. It has good complexity and while it is sour it doesn't have the impression of sourness in line with its ph. Lindemans gets a bad wrap for its sweetened fruit lambics but Lindemans is used by most, if not all, gueuze blenders in Belgium. If it's good enough for them it's good enough for me.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Sour
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2015, 05:32:02 PM »
Lindemans gets a bad wrap for its sweetened fruit lambics but Lindemans is used by most, if not all, gueuze blenders in Belgium. If it's good enough for them it's good enough for me.

I don't think this is correct. Boon, Girardin and Cantillon also sell to blenders. For instance, AFAIK Tilquin uses Cantillon lambic. 3 Fonteinen used to use lambic from Boon and Girardin after 3,000 of their bottles exploded (maybe I shouldn't mention this to a sour newbie  :P )
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Online ynotbrusum

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Re: Sour
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2015, 11:51:27 AM »
I think the Gose style would be a good entry to sours.  Depending on your locale, there are several pretty good ones being made.  My first Gose was from Westbrook outside of Charleston, SC.  Very tart and nicely salted.  Six Points Jammer is another commercial example.  Most American versions are not crazy sour, so those would be worth a start - and like Jim says, "don't think of it as beer".  As you move toward funky stuff, you find that blending is the way to go with many of these beers, because there is a wildness to them that makes things difficult to control or measure.  pH is helpful, but I had a Berliner go from 4.3 to 2.9 in less than 24 hours.  That one will be blended for the sake of tooth enamel preservation.....
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Sour
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2015, 10:33:34 PM »
In my (almost exclusively Belgian) experience: try to find the best of the best. The ones I'm familiar with: Orval, Russian River, Cantillon, Boon, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Oerbier Special Reserva, 3 Fonteinen, Girardin.
Frank P.

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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Sour
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2015, 11:01:15 PM »
In the world of wild beer, there are sour beers, funky beers and beers that are both sour and funky. There are also varying degrees of both characters. Make sure to sample the spectrum before you come to any conclusions.

If you're going to ease yourself in, then Bruery Hottenroth and DFH Festina Peche are good entry-level beers on the sour side, and Orval is a good start on the funky side. If you want both tart and funky, then a milder gueuze like Gueuze Fond Tradition or Boon Gueuze might be a good place to start.

+1.  A good place to start and fairly ubiquitous.