Sour Beers: Refreshing for Summer

Berliner Weisse at The Heidelberg Restaurant, NYC

Berliner Weisse with raspberry syrup (and a straw!) at The Heidelberg Restaurant, NYC

Andrew: A good friend of mine  is visiting for the holiday. Big surprise—we drank beer when he came to visit yesterday! He was looking in my fridge and noticed that I had some beers he’s never heard of and I explained that they are sour beers.

He was like, “Whaaaaaaa’?” And I was like, “yuh, huh.”

So naturally he was curious and wanted to try some out. I started him on a very accessible sour: Dogfish Head Festina Peche—a Berliner Weisse, a German style sour beer that is sometimes served with fruit syrup (check out pic with raspberry syrup taken at The Heidelberg Restaurant in NYC) to balance the tartness.

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Dogfish Head Festina Peche—Pretty label!

The sourness is imparted by lactic bacteria cultures. I like this beer because it’s very refreshing for summer. The tartness is definitely present, but not too overpowering. It reminds me of a sparkling wine—light with tiny bubbles and a nice acidity and tartness. Festina Peche is brewed with peach puree, but it isn’t sweet. You really get a nice peach flavor but without a sticky sweetness that you might expect with a fruit beer. I told my friend that if he enjoyed this one we’d try a more “adventurous” sour.

Next we had a Crooked Stave Surette. I love Crooked Stave beers. I’ve wanted to try them for awhile because I’ve heard that they make very unique, well-balanced sours.

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Crooked Stave Surette Saison

I was disappointed when I didn’t get a chance to try Crooked Stave beer when I had to go to Denver for a work trip a couple months ago, but then found out that they would start distributing in NYC! I picked up several bottles as soon as I could. Anyway, this beer isn’t super sour either, but definitely a step up from the Festina Peche. It’s a saison, which can vary in tartness. This beer was aged in oak barrels and you really get the woody flavor in this beer. I’m not a huge fan of malty beers, but when the malt is balanced out with tartness, I love it. It’s almost like a tart iced tea or something.

In summary, sour beers are becoming really popular. They’re definitely the biggest fad  in the beer world right now (super popular at The Festival a couple weeks ago), but they are especially delicious in the summer.

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4 thoughts on “Sour Beers: Refreshing for Summer

  1. Pingback: Sour Beers: My Take | Brew Boyz Blog

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