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.


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.


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.

5 thoughts on “Sour Beers: Refreshing for Summer

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