~ One of Sadie's favorite beer styles, we're exploring sours today with a little help from local Colorado breweries. ~
What is it? Sours are a style of beer with a unique, tangy flavor ranging from slightly tart to mouth puckering! Quickly endearing to some, many view sours as an acquired taste. What makes the beer "sour?" The bacteria you might find in spoiled milk (as well as a few of its cousins) and certain strains of wild yeast. Sound gnarly? It's not as bad as you might think - keep reading!
How long has it been around? As most sources point out, sour beers have been around since the beginning. "Before refrigeration technology and advancements in the science of fermentation, naturally occurring bacteria and yeast crept into beer, including Lactobacillus (the sour milk bacteria), Pediococcus and Brettanomyces yeasts. These organisms create acidity in the beer, giving it its sour flavor and complex taste. Wood and barrel aging allowed the wild yeast and bacteria into the beer while the beer fermented, aged and was stored." - Berghoffbeer.com
According to Christian DeBenedetti, author of The Great American Ale Trail, "commercially available Belgian sour beers first came to the United States in the nineteen-seventies, laying the groundwork for ever-tarter domestic beers." Where should you drink them nowadays? I'll personally recommend Colorado - Crooked Stave serves up nothing but sours, and Loveland Ale Works has a seasonal raspberry sour that is multi-growler worthy. Check out the 2015 Best American Sour from Paste Magazine (New Belgium La Folie, we love you), and snoop around The Sour Beer Blog for more great info. Cheers to sour beers!
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