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Aug 2, 2013 06:59 AM

Easy to Find: Sour Ales

I would love to get a list going of breweries/names of the Sour Ales out there. Hoping there are some I haven't noticed that can be found around New England.

I dont even know if I have the type right...American Wild, Sour, Flemish...any missing from that "sour" category?

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  1. Also
    Oud Bruin, Flanders Brown
    Berliner Weisse
    Old Ale or Stock Ale

    There are quite a few list out there to start with:
    and many more.
    Here is a list of Beer centric stores in and around Boston
    (.75 down the Page

    6 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      Old/stock ales aren't sour (at least they shouldn't be). Pre-sanitation they might have been (unintentionally), but that's now well over two hundred years ago.

      1. re: Josh

        Many have/had Brettanomyces added to give a sour fruity tang so I doubt it was unintentional.

        1. re: chefj

          Please cite an example, as I've never tasted an old ale made with brettanomyces. Sounds interesting!

          Also, pre-sanitation the sourness in English beers was due to lactobacillus more than brett. Brett's not a sour flavor, but more of an earthy/barnyard flavor. Pediococcus and lactobacillus are more of what produces the sour flavors found in lambics and berliner weisse.

          1. re: Josh

            Me neither. Many of the British and American examples have been retired from production.
            The only example I can find is Gale's Prize Old Ale.
            Here is the Source I was citing when I suggested Old/Stock Ales as falling into the Sours Range.

            1. re: chefj

              Yeah, that's a long time ago. Interestingly New Glarus in Wisconsin has made some soured English styles like this. They are definitely weird.

          2. re: chefj

            I'm assuming you got this info from Wikipedia, which isn't always the best source. This poster on BA sums up the different brett strains well:

      2. I'm a fan of Flemish Sours myself. A favorite that's fairly easy to find is Duchesse de Bourgogne. Rodenbach's Flemish Sour isn't too hard to find (I think).

        A completely different sort of sour ale is Bell's Oarsman, described as a "tart German wheat" ale. A wonderfully-tart, refreshing sessionable beer. I'm not sure how widely available Bell's beers are in NE; they've gotten to be pretty easy to find here in PA.

        1 Reply
        1. re: brandywiner

          Rodenbach can be hard to find, depending on where you live. In my area, for example, it's been out of circulation for a number of years, I think because of an issue with wholesalers.

        2. In NYC, I'm getting Rodenbach, usually whatever Mikkeller is working on, Evil Twin stuff, and a little more down-to-earth, Peekskill's Simple Sour.

          1. If you can find Jolly Pumpkin (Michigan) that's a good brewery with a lot of sour beer in their lineup,

            Petrus Aged Pale is available in a lot of places, not as good as it once was but serviceable.

            Lindeman's fruit lambics are sugar bombs, but their Cuvée Rene gueuze is an excellent sour and seems to be widely available.