When I was a kid, I’d gobble up sour candy like Warheads or Sour Patch Kids. Now that I’m a grown-up (by age, at least), I still crave those sour flavors -- even though my sweet tooth has since quieted. Thankfully, while I’m now also of legal drinking age (and have been for more years than I’d care to divulge in this article), there are plenty of sour beers out there to tickle my craving for acidic treats.
In fact, lately, breweries have been churning out so many tasty, fruity sours in a wide range of styles, that it’s tough to keep up with all of the new releases. With spring in full swing, here are six particularly awesome new sours for the season.
It seems strange that Rogue has been brewing since 1988, and has yet to release a sour. After all, this is the same brewery that offers a grape donut beer. But Rogue’s new Paradise Pucker -- initially released in super limited quantities on tap only in the state of Hawaii -- is getting a proper release this spring/summer. It’s a tropical POG beer -- brewed with passion fruit, orange, and guava, for a healthy dose of sour fruit flavor. Pucker up, buttercup.
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First of all, can we talk about this brightly colored can that looks like it was pulled from the prop department on the set of Miami Vice? It’s something to behold. And Hi-Wire’s sterling reputation in a city full of excellent breweries should tell you that these 4-packs of 16oz tallboys should fly off of shelves. Unlike other popular, fruit-flavored goses, this one features tropical notes from Citra hops to give the salty gose an added dimension.
Ok, so Avery hasn’t technically announced that this beer is hitting shelves yet. But our pals at Beer Street Journal are experts at digging up beer secrets (here’s one: fruited sours pair well with mozzarella sticks!), and they got word that Avery is coming out with a new barrel-aged sour with fresh ginger root. The releases from Avery’s Botanicals & Barrels series have been well-received by the beer drinking public (another beer secret: Coconut Porter pairs with coconut cream pie), so it’s likely that this sour entry will be another humdinger.
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St. Louis, MO
Though limited in availability, Schlafly’s From The Ibex Cellar series is even better than a typical release from The Saint Louis Brewery, if you can believe it. Plenty of goses are matched up with fruit (Anderson Valley Briney Melon with watermelon, or Wicked Weed Calimost with grapefruit, to name a couple), but you don’t often see gooseberries in beer. In Schlafly’s version, the fruit flavor is tempered by herbal notes, thanks to the addition of coriander. Considering the fleeting nature of their heavenly Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout release from earlier this year, this one is worth snatching up immediately, should you find it.
Fort Collins, CO
While Avery embraces 22oz bombers and draft to serve up its ginger sour, New Belgium takes its new lemon ginger sour to bottled six-packs. And sure enough (as one would expect of a beer in six-packs), the OG Colorado brewery touts the beer as “bright and sessionable.” The mix of sweet and sour flavors should be a tasty addition to your fridge in the warmer months of the year. Pucker up, buttercup! …Crap, I used that one already.
There are certain perks that come with being owned by legendary (now 146-year-old) Belgian brewery Duvel. Case in point: when Duvel’s Brewery Ommegang decided to brew this Oud Bruin (a.k.a. a sour brown ale), the New York outpost got some help from Liefmans, another Duvel brewery based in Oudenaarde, Belgium, and founded in 1679 (older than the United States!). The result is a balanced “sweet and sour” beer with a “pleasant nutty flavor,” as Ommegang describes it. I describe it as “absolutely delicious.” Pair it with rich, savory foods or a decadent dessert!
Note: Wicked Weed is a member of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch.