The 6 Best Sour Beers For A Sweet Summer Behind The Grill
Photo: valentinrussanov (Getty Images)
The season of sour beers is upon on. Popular throughout the world for centuries, the trend of tart, sour, and sometimes salty beers is relatively new in the American craft beer world. In the last decade, brands like Dogfish Head, New Belgium, Westbrook, Wicked Weed, and Russian River have led the charge with award-winning offerings to appeal to the whole spectrum of sourness.
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We love sour beers in the warmer months because they’re perfectly suited for a hot day in the sun (or a mild evening by a bonfire) and pair well with all of our favorite summer foods. Grilled and smoked meats and sour beers were practically made for each other.
Pour a glass of one of these perfect sour beers at your next barbecue.
Russian River Supplication
This 7 percent ABV brown ale gets its flavor from aging in casks that previously housed pinot noir from area wineries. But it isn’t just aged in the barrels alone. The addition of brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus, as well sour cherries give this sour beer a balanced, tart, funky flavor.
Photo: Russian River
Anderson Valley Briney Melon Gose
Like any good sour beer, this one was created by an experiment. This refreshing, 4.2 percent ABV gose is just the right amount of tart mixed together with sweet watermelon. A hint of sea salt brings both flavors together perfectly.
Photo: Anderson Valley
Brooklyn Bel Air Sour
This effervescent, sour, Champagne-like beer might be the greatest summer beer ever made. Originally a limited-edition brew, it was so popular that Brooklyn made it a year-round offering. We look forward to the first warm day of spring so we can sip on one (or three) while we stand behind our backyard grills.
Photo: Brooklyn Brewery
The Bruery Tart of Darkness
This 7.2 percent ABV sour beer began as a stout before aging in oak casks that were previously used to mature other beers. Afterwards, the brewery added “souring bacteria” as well as various wild yeasts. The result of rich, tart, and truly unique.
Photo: The Bruery
New Belgium La Folie
New Belgium fans eagerly await the arrival of La Folie every year. This 7 percent ABV sour brown ale spends up to three years in oak barrels. This mouth-puckering, sour beer is tart and seems more like a fine sparkling wine than a beer. Pair it with a warm evening with friends and family.
Photo: New Belgium
Subtly salty with hints of citrus, this is one of the first sour beers we ever tried. We still come back to it year after year. It’s a perfect beer for warm weather porch drinking.