Sour beer lovers are paving the way for a fun new beer category that may someday rival the IPA. India Pale Ales have been the rage of change in the American beer industry over the last decade. While the IPA craze continues to grow, a new segment is beginning to emerge… THE FLEMISH SOUR.
“Sour is the new hoppy. 20 years of escalating hop use has left the extreme beer drinker looking for a new experience. Sour beers are their answer,” says Ray Daniels, Director of the Cicerone Certification Program.
The sour category is a small niche within the craft beer segment, however the passion for these brews are very similar to their flavor, INTENSE. Sour beers are an acquired taste, like big oaky red wines, but once you’re engaged in the craze your taste buds will hold no boundaries.
“Sour beers are the most refreshing beers on the planet,” says Thor Cheston, General Manager of Brasserie Beck in Washington, DC.
Two great examples of these sour beers are Petrus Aged Pale and Monk’s Cafe. Aged Pale is the mother brew of the Petrus Aging Cellar from Brouwerij Bavik. The beer is brewed then placed in oak casks for up to three years. Oxygen seeps through the wood causing the beer to sour over time. Warning! Petrus Aged Pale is for the extreme Sour Puss only.
Monk’s Cafe is a more-friendly version for Sour Puss wannabes. This beer, brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge, takes the mother brew and beautifully blends it with fresh sweet beer. The nose has a vinegar bite leading the drinker to believe that the beer will be VERY sour. However, the liquid hits the palette sweet, which causes a true explosion of flavor. This beverage is the perfect match with Thai food, Mexican dishes, dessert or even as a salad dressing.
“Sour beers use a unique brewing process that produces a flavor that explodes on the palette,” says Ron Kloth, Proprietor of Papago Brewing Company Scottsdale, Arizona.
Global Beer Network is the exclusive importer of 9 different Belgian Brewers into the United States. For more information on Global Beer Network, please visit their website at globalbeer.com.