Beginner's Guide to Sampling Sour Beer
Whether you're already an avid beer drinker or prefer something a little stronger, it can be a nice change of pace to try something a bit off the beaten path. Sour beer is a great option for this, offering a lot of the same easy drinking properties as a traditional beer with a bright, acidic zing trading citrus flavor for that hoppy taste you love.
That all sounds good, but where do you start? While it's not a bad idea to just hop in and grab something off the shelf, you're of a discerning palate and would prefer some recommendations before you drink. Thankfully, you have us to help you find what you should be drinking.
Like with many of the best beers, a lot of the most delicious sour beers come from Belgium, though several German varieties are also quite nice. Old Bruin and Flanders are some of the top styles in the former category, both having a tart and fruity flavor with Old Bruin being darker in color and more sour in profile and Flanders being a deep red with a more complex flavor from its fermentation in oak containers.
As for the Germans, one of their best beers is gose. Made from a minimum of 50% malted wheat, you'll definitely enjoy this if you've been wanting a specifically citrus-accented beer with a salty, herbaceous bite. You might also enjoy the pale Berliner Weisse which packs less of a punch when it comes to alcohol content but makes up for it tenfold in just how refreshing it is to drink, almost like a soda.
This is just a sampler, though. There are a ton of different types of sour beer out there for you to try once you get your foot in the door. Start out with any delicious domestic or imported brands bottling some of these styles of beer and see what you have a taste for. With so much variety, you're sure to find something you'll love.