Sour Beer: A Good Thing

A recent article in the Trib hipped me to an interesting type of beer.  Sour Beer.  It is made to be sour by the introduction of wild yeast strains, and consistency between batches is difficult to achieve.  My first experience with sour beer was interesting, which I suppose means that the jury is out on whether I liked it or not.  I didn’t dislike it, it’s just, as I said, different.  Duchesse De Bourgogne was recommended to me by the beer guy at Binny’s as a good place to start, being a less expensive import brand.  Still, it was $9.99 for a 25 oz. bottle, so this would be an expensive habit to develop.  Duchesse comes from West Flanders and is a red-brown ale, slighly hazy and very fizzy, almost like champagne.  It floated a spotty yet consistent head.  The bouquet was unusual and…interesting.  Vinegar, apple cider, steak sauce.  The texture was thin, and yes, the taste is sour, but like the apple, not the vinegar.  Again, it has a very champagne-like quality in the mouthfeel.  It’s an odd style, but I guess paired with the right food it might work better.  I picture the jugs that the peasants are drinking from in those Breughel paintings as being full of sour beer.  There’s something old and simple about it, and the complexity of the tastes and smells is intriguing.  I think if it was a bit higher in alcohol content I’d like it better, because at only 6% I need a bit more convincing that I’m happy I made this $10 decision.

Sour Beer Drinken Hier (that's fake Flemish)

Sour Beer Drinken Hier (that's fake Flemish)

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