Sour Beer

Core styles: Gueuze, Flanders Red, Oud Bruin, Gose and Berliner Weisse

Sour beers have a long and interesting history; predating all other modern styles, it is said (arguably) that all beers were once sour beers due to the unknown presence of wild yeast in barrels and fermenters. This was a time before the discovery of yeast, a time before pasteurisation and a time long before the shiny, squeaky clean breweries that exist today. All the mainstream versions of sour beer we have today originated in either Germany or Belgium, and each country produced its’ own distinctive styles that could be based around three desirable bacteria and one wild yeast: lactobacillus (clean, citrusy tartness), pediococcus (clean tartness with funky sourness), acetobacter (sour vinegar) and Brettanomyces (dry, funky, horseblanket). You may be forgiven for thinking that some of those flavour profiles do not sound particularly attractive but, when given the right platform to shine on they, really are delicious; perfect for a hot summers day even!

Belgium has a long history of doing strange and wonderful things with sour beer. The main styles hailing from Belgium are Gueuze, Lambic/Kriek, Flanders Red and Oud Bruin. Gueuze and Lambic are particularly interesting as they undergo spontaneous open-fermentation. Flanders Red and Oud Bruin are not spontaneously fermented, but they are often blended sours, which both have additions of lactobacillus and acetobacter to give them their signature tartness. The main difference is the colour and the aging process, Flanders Reds are aged in Burgundy barrels and Oud Bruins are aged in stainless steel fermenters.

Germany’s contribution to the sour landscape is Berliner Weisse and Gose, both are similar beers which include the addition of salt and lactobacillus to add that sour, tangy funk.

Nowadays there are plenty of modern breweries taking up the sour torch so the days of limited production and rarity are long gone. Great entry points are Magic Rock’s Salty Kiss, Siren Craft Brew’s Calypso, Rodenbach Grand Cru for the wine aficionado and Timmermans Kriek if you fancy something fruity.

Admittedly, these styles can be a bit of an acquired taste. Yet, the fruit lambics from the likes of Lindeman's are an easier starting point into the world of funk or, if you’re looking for something UK based, Wild Beer Co deal almost exclusively in weird and interesting sours.

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Camden Plum Sour

Camden Plum Sour
Camden Plum Sour
3.5%
330ml
Britain

Big Drop Sour (Alcohol Free)

Big Drop Sour (Alcohol Free)
Big Drop Sour (Alcohol Free)
0.5%
330ml
Britain

Timmermans Framboise

Timmermans Framboise
Timmermans Framboise
4.0%
330ml
Belgium

Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne

Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne
Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne
6.2%
330ml
Belgium

Timmermans Kriek

Timmermans Kriek
Timmermans Kriek
4.00%
330ml
Belgium

Timmermans Strawberry

Timmermans Strawberry
Timmermans Strawberry
4.0%
330ml
Belgium

Tiny Rebel Strawberry Bomb

Tiny Rebel Strawberry Bomb
Tiny Rebel Strawberry Bomb
4%
330ml
Britain

Magic Rock x Siren Stand in Line

Magic Rock x Siren Stand in Line
Magic Rock x Siren Stand in Line
4.5%
330ml
Britain

Magic Rock Salty Kiss

Magic Rock Salty Kiss
Magic Rock Salty Kiss
4.1%
330ml
Britain

Goose Island Gillian 2017 765ml

Goose Island Gillian
Goose Island Gillian 2017 765ml
8.8%
765ml
America

Black Sheep Limoncello

Black Sheep Limoncello
Black Sheep Limoncello
3.8%
440ml
Britain

Founders Mas Agave

Founders Mas Agave
Founders Mas Agave
10%
355ml
America

BrewDog Raspberry Blitz (Alcohol Free)

BrewDog Raspberry Blitz (Alcohol Free)
BrewDog Raspberry Blitz (Alcohol Free)
0.5%
330ml
Britain

Wild Beer Sleeping Limes Can

Wild Beer Sleeping Limes Can
Wild Beer Sleeping Limes Can
4.6%
330ml
Britain

Wiper and True Cuvee des Simples

Wiper and True Cuvee des Simples
Wiper and True Cuvee des Simples
6.6%
330ml
Britain

Sierra Nevada Otra Vez

Sierra Nevada Otra Vez
Sierra Nevada Otra Vez
4.9%
355ml
America

Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille

Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille
Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille
6%
375ml
Belgium

Rodenbach

Rodenbach
Rodenbach
5.2%
250ml
Belgium

To Øl Santa Gose F&%" It All

To Øl Santa Gose F&%" It All
To Øl Santa Gose F&%" It All
4%
330ml
Denmark

Stone & Wood Counter Culture Killer Kween

Stone & Wood Counter Culture Killer Kween
Stone & Wood Counter Culture Killer Kween
7.6%
500ml
Australia

Wild Beer Co Yokai

Wild Beer Co Yokai
Wild Beer Co Yokai
4.5%
330ml
Britain

Wild Beer Co Zintuki

The Wild Beer Co Zintuki
Wild Beer Co Zintuki
7.3%
330ml
Britain

Goose Island Madame Rose 2018

Goose Island Madame Rose 2018
Goose Island Madame Rose 2018
6.7%
355ml
America

Funk Estate Jungle Boogie

Funk Estate Jungle Boogie
Funk Estate Jungle Boogie
5.3%
330ml
New Zealand

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