When you order an American Sour Ale, you cannot assume what it will be like unless you ask your taproom specialist ahead of time. This is due to the absolutely varying nature of this brewing style. With a color that ranges from pale to black, bitterness that spans the same line and an ABV that can only be determined by asking the taproom staff (again), you are sure to find an adventure in each new American Sour you choose to try.
Simply put, there is no set determination at to what these brews “should” look like, taste like, or smell like. If there were, it would be quite difficult to brew them! The nature of this brewing style is entirely changeable due to the methods used for creating them. A “sour” brew is created using bacteria, which cannot be directly controlled, other than to decide the length of time that it sits. Each brewmaster has their own method of creation and this only makes the range of variation larger.
Due to the bacteria used, this brew is hazy in appearance, as is expected. This is, perhaps, the one feature you can nearly rely on. At least you have that one feature! However, the unpredictability of these brews is one of the largest draws to them. The craft beer lovers of the world enjoy trying a new brew and with so many possibilities available with this brewing style, the only necessary ingredient in a craft beer lover is the willingness to try something that sounds “off”, but is, in fact, not off at all.
The Queen of Tarts from Karl Strausse Brewing Company is a great example of this brewing style. On average, the many sour craft beers on the market hold some great aromas and this brew is no exception to that rule. It is quite well-balanced overall and the lovely haze in its appearance marks it very clearly as a sour, which we loved.
We love hearing from our readers and we’d really love to hear about some of the American Sour brews you have come across in your craft beer journeys. Tell us about the brews you’ve tried and perhaps your comment will be the inspiration for our next feature post! In the meantime, we’ll be right here in South Florida, working hard to get ready for our own opening later this year at West Palm Beach Brewery and Wine Vault! Happy Tasting!
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