Drinks: Tried a sour beer yet? Here’s a selection that covers the pucker spectrum
Move on from IPAs and imperial stouts and try a sour beer. By Carey Jones
What makes a beer sour? To get technical for a second, microorganisms— specifically the bacterium lactobacillus and the wild yeasts pediococcus and
brettanomyces. Some sours are aged with fruit and take on its flavors, as well as that acidity, and many are aged for extended periods. All these variables make for beers that are difficult and expensive to produce and totally weird (in a good way). Have a sip of one, and you might be taken aback: “Tart” doesn’t usually make the list of traditional beer descriptors, and the flavor can be unfamiliar, even off-putting at first. But recently, sours—previously little-known traditional European styles and modern American ones—have soared in popularity, to the point where the once-obscure genre is becoming mainstream. Here are our favorites, on a sliding sour scale.