It might be sour, but it’s hitting all the right notes. Meet the flavour of the month in the beer world
If you haven’t already, you will soon have heard of sour beer. It seems to be cropping up everywhere as the latest “it beer” in the brew world. So what is this new-fangled beverage?
First of all, it’s not new – sour beers have been around as long as beer itself. In modern brewing, a sterile environment is key to ensuring no wild yeast “spoils” the beer, but in days gone by brewers often had no choice but to let wild yeast enter the brew – if the right strain was present this produced a delicious style of beer. These days it is introduced intentionally, either through adding “good” bacteria strains or sometimes fruit. While there are more controls around it now, it is still a difficult process to control with an amount of uncertainty involved. Which may have a part to play in why, when it does work, it’s become so lauded.
The best examples are complex, engaging and delicious. It’s a variety, too, that loves food – the sour flavours complement acidic foods, think ceviche or fried green tomatoes. But it also does well in contrast to sweeter dishes such as teriyaki chicken or a perhaps a cherry pie and is a wonderful palate cleanser for fatty meats, such as sausages and pork belly.
There is some biological evidence to suggest the reason we enjoy this low-level sourness is because it benefits our probiotic health. Whatever the reason, all we know is it’s deliciously different and we are delighted sour beers are having their time in the limelight. Here are some of our favourites, below: