There’s a lot of options out there if you’re a beer drinker. One of the recently popular choices has been sour beers. These beers, like you’d imagine, have a bit of a more of a tart flavor to them. However, understanding what goes into these beers can help you make the most of them when drinking them…
Sour Beers: What Makes Them Different?
The souring process
Sour beers are a bit trickier for brewers than other beer types. This all comes down to how the beer gets its sour flavor. In order to create the sour taste, brewers have to add certain ingredients in specific ways. Most notably, it all comes down to the yeast and special bacteria which are used.
Most brewers use a specific kind of “brewer’s yeast” for their beers. However, sour beer uses what’s known as “wild yeast”. Brewers also add in lactic acid producing bacteria, which makes the sour flavors as the beer ferments. The issue with these ingredients is that they’re much harder to control, and can result in poor brews and potential contamination of other, more controlled brews.
If you have an interest in trying out some sour beers, then you’ll want to know your options. However, this can be a bit confusing, because these beers usually don’t have “sour” on the label. In fact, only U.S. brews tend to label their beers as “sour”. Even then, they might use “wild ale” or “Brett beer” to indicate the sour nature of the beer.
As for other options, there’s a few categories to consider, mainly from Germany and Belgium. Berliner Weisse and Gose, for instance, are two German sour wheat beers. There’s also Flemish Ales, a Belgian dark brew with fruity undertones. Still, these are just some of the options available, and you’ll have to do some research to find a brew that fits you the best.
One of the defining features of sour beers, apart from their taste, is how they work really well when accompanying food. With it’s tart taste, these beers can work with nearly any meal. However, there are a few certain dishes that these beers work exceptionally well with.
Dishes like barbecue and seafood entrees work really well with sour brews. The same goes for very spicy options, like curry or Tex-Mex, as the beer acts as a nice, cooling refresher. Even for more hearty or savory options, like stews and meats, sour beer offers a nice contrast of flavor.