Beers are some of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. They have a rich history and are brewed in every corner of the globe - but not all of them taste the same.
Sour beers have been around for years and are the product of a very long and complicated brewing process. They are also refreshing and delicious, yet very few people are aware of them.
If you want to start trying out some different flavors of beer, then you are certainly going to want to try out some world-famous sour beers. But where should you start?
That is where we come in. We have pulled together a list of the 12 best sour beers that you can purchase and try today. Take a look below, and choose the right sour beer for you - it’s bound to be down there!
What We Look For In A Sour Beer
Not all sour beers are the same. Some may have stronger flavors than others, some may have a higher alcohol level, and others may include different additives.
But just like how no two beers are alike, the same can be said about people. Everyone has their own personal tastes and preferences, so we have decided to make our list as diverse as possible.
We have taken into consideration that everyone likes something different, so no two beers on our list are similar.
Most sour beers can be divided into various categories, but each brewery has its own process and recipe. The most popular categories are:
- Flanders Red Ale, a fruity red beer that is fermented in oak vats.
- Gose, a top fermented German beer made from malted cheat.
- Lambic beer is crisp and highly concentrated with flavored wheat
- Berliner Weisse, a weather beer that is pale and cloudy
Of course, not all sour beers can be squeezed into one certain label so when it comes to looking for the best sour beers, we decided to follow one simple criteria: the beer has to be sour and it has to taste good.
It doesn’t matter where it is from or how it was made - it just needs to taste sour and delicious.
With that said, let’s get into our list of the 12 best sour beers!
OUR TOP PICK
This sour beer is an easy one to get your hands on and although IPAs might be a little controversial at times, it is definitely a trend you want to try.
New Belgium’s Sour IPA is sour beer that is a perfect balance of acidity and hops. It tastes very juicy and tropical, which are certain to refresh your taste buds after a long hot day of work.
It’s something different if you have already given other sour beers a try. It is both bitter and sour, making this beer a delicious treat to try.
Made from 1,200 pounds of blackberries and 1,200 pounds of raspberries, Urban Artifact’s The Gadget is a sour beer you do not want to miss.
This sour beer is more on the tart side but is balanced amazingly well with the berry notes. It is a flavor packed beer that you will definitely appreciate.
It’s alcohol content is set at a very fair 8% so it is also a perfect choice for those who want a nice relaxing beer that will certainly give them a little bit of a buzz.
Our first Berliner Weisse on our list, this sour beer is low down on the alcohol content so it is a great way for those who cannot handle their beer to still enjoy the taste and flavors that come with a good sour beer.
Firestone Walker’s Bretta Rose is refreshingly tart. It also has an amazing aroma that you can pick up from the moment you open the bottle. If you want to really treat yourself, then try this sour beer with some syrup just like a classic Berliner!
For a sour beer that tastes a little bit like a fancy champagne, you should try Lindemans Cuvee Rene Oude Gueuze.
This sour beer is bone dry and has a high acidity that makes it incredibly sour. It is also a very traditional drink, as it is a blend of ages and young lambic beers, so it gives you a real supple and intense taste in your mouth.
So, if you want to enjoy a beer at a fancier event when everyone expects you to be hitting the champagne, just pour some of this into a fluted glass - no one will be able to tell the difference unless they have a sip.
If you are looking for a true lambic sour beer, then look no further than Allagash’s Coolship Resurgam. It is the best lambic sour beer to get a hold of in the States as it is used using traditional Belgian fermentation techniques right here in the States.
It tastes just like a traditional lambic too - with strong fruity aromas of apricot, lemon and candied fruit. No not be fooled by its tropical smell, however. This sour beer is still clean and tart, and leaves you with a dry finish in your mouth.
This traditional geuze sour beer is made using only fermented lambic beers that have been aged in oak casks.
This is what gives Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen’s Oude Geuze its spritzy and almost champagne-like taste. It is still incredibly sour but in a tart and earthy way.
You will certainly let it roll over your tongue a few times to really nail down on what those flavors are.
Crisp and delicious, you will look far more sophisticated serving this sour beer from its traditional cork and bottle instead of a can. This sour beer is a conversation starter for sure.
Now this is an intense sour beer!
Rodenbach’s Grand Cru is an aged beer that has had years to let those notes of tarty fruits to age and mature.
It tastes strongly of cherries and raisins, merging both sweet and sour to make a beer that will definitely pucker your mouth. It may remind you of a red wine but far more intense with its flavors.
This makes this sour beer a great Flanders Red that you should pick up if you are in the market for a really sour beer.
With this sour beverage, Dogfish Head has managed to blend three styles of sour beer into one amazing drink. It features the crispness of a Kolsch, the saltiness of a Gose, and the tartness of a Berliner Weisse all in one beer!
Citrus and sour thanks to its ingredients of black lime and lime juice, this sour beer gives us really strong ‘day at the beach’ vibes. This makes it the perfect sour beer to crack open at the beach and to enjoy in between hitting the waves.
For a sour beer that is lip smacking and face twistingly sour, try Mikkeller's Brewing Passion Pool!
This is a sour beer that is sure to bring a tear to your eye, so it is ideal for those looking for a really strong sour beer that gives an extra kick.
That sourness does not fade - in fact, we found that it got even more sour with each sip so the odds of you growing used to this sour beer are very low. It definitely made us flinch, and it probably will make you flinch too!
This Berliner Weisse is both fruit and fun thanks to its fruit ingredients. Might Squirrel’s Sour Face sour beer is made using kiwi and raspberry that is fermented with the beer to create many layered notes of flavor.
It combines both sweet and tartnes to make a very refreshing beer that is a taste all its own. It certainly lives up to its name - we found ourselves squinting with every sip of this amazing sour beer.
As one of the strongest sour beers on our list, the Victory Brewing Sour Monkey contains nearly twice as much alcohol content as the average beer.
The strong taste of alcohol is masked by a lip-puckering citrus sourness that will curl your toes. It is also smooth and light, and goes down a treat. Strong with citrus flavors and has an amazing texture, this sour beer is a definite thumbs up from us.
And finally, we have an IPA sour beer with Sierra Nevada’s Wild Little Thing.
This beer is both fun and refreshing - and that is just from taking one look at the packaging! The Wild Little Thing sour beer tastes just like it looks, and is a great blend of fruity strawberry and hibiscus flavors to make a taste of tartness that really hits the spot.
Although it is not the most sour thing on our list, it is sour enough for those who want an easy introduction in the world of sour beers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Sour Beer?
Sour beer is a variety of beer that tastes sour. It gains its sour flavor through a unique brewing process that uses wild bacteria and yeast, whereas other types of beers use controlled strains of yeast.
Sour beer tastes sour because it incorporates bacteria like lactobacillus and pediococcus. They convert sugar into lactic acid to lower the pH level of the beer. This is what gives sour beer its tart flavoring.
Because these bacteria eat sugar, it makes the beer less sweet and more sour. It is a risky and specialized form of beer brewing as it can sometimes take months for the beer to ferment and even years for it to mature.
Traditional sour beer comes in various styles such as Lambic, Gose, Gueuze, Flanders Red Ale and Berliner Weisse. Each is different due to the regions they are brewed in or are characterized by different ingredients.
For example, gose beers use cilantro and salt, and Berliner Weisse usually contain a lower alcohol content and are served with flavored syrups.
Can Sour Beers Be Drunk With A Meal?
Thanks to the acidity of sour beers, they are a great way to cut through the richness of a lot of heavy meals. We would definitely recommend you drinking your sour beer alongside a meaty meal.
Some sour beers like Gose and Berliner Weisse are also great with seafood such as oysters and fish, and Lambics are great when paired with goat cheeses.
Of course, you can always enjoy your sour beer on its own as they can be really refreshing and delicious to drink on a hot day. However, it is perfectly fine to enjoy your sour beer alongside a rich meal.
And there we have our favorite 12 sour beers. With so many different types and flavors to choose from, it was difficult to narrow them all down - but hopefully, the right beer for you is right on up there.
So what are you waiting for?
Pick a few that you like the sound of and give them a try. Who knows, your next favorite drink could be a few clicks away.