Sours: The Champagne of Beers
This is typically both a time of reflection on the previous year, as well as an opportunity to look forward to great things ahead. Sour beers turned out to be a big trend in craft beer both here in BC and internationally in 2015. We saw a huge growth not only in the number of sour beers being brewed, but also in customer demand.
If you’re not familiar with the style, sour beers can be quite eye-opening. While most beers are not known for having much acidity, these beers are distinguished by their acidity and the wonderful fruit flavours inherent in the style. As you’ll see from the list below, many of these are actually brewed with different fruits—cherries and raspberries are classic additions—to accentuate that fruity aspect.
The style originated in the Flanders region of Belgium, where most are oak barrel fermented and/or barrel aged. As you can imagine, these beers have a lot in common with wine, except for the generally lower alcohol content (comparable to a regular craft beer). Cascade Brewing’s sours—brewed in Oregon—are renown for their similarity to fine sparkling wine. And the popular Belgian Duchesse de Bourgogne is so named for its resemblance to fine French Burgundy. Many wine drinkers fall in love with sour beers such as these, even though they may not otherwise enjoy hoppy or malty craft beers.
Craft beer drinkers love them, too! Below is a list of what we currently have in stock, but new sours seem to arrive weekly. We have also included tasting notes for a half dozen of them, so you get a sense of their flavour profiles.
We think 2016 is going to be a big year for sour beers and we’re excited to get more of our customers drinking them. They are quite refreshing and, like wine, pair well with food. Try some today!
Glenn Barlow & the Cook St. Liquor staff
3 Fonteinen Golden Doesjel Lambic
Bocker Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge
Bocker Vander Ghinste Oud Bruin
Lindmans Cassis Lambic
Lindmans Framboise Lambic
Lindmans Kriek Lambic
St. Louis Fond Tradition Kriek Lambic
St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition
Tilqun Oud Gueuze
Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne
EUROPE (beyond Belgium)
Brekeriet Sourley Wine (Sweden)
Brekeriet Vendetta Sour Saison (Sweden)
Brekeriet Argouse Sour Wild Ale (Sweden)
Brekeriet Sour White (Sweden)
Mikkeller Spontanframboos (Denmark)
Mikkeller Green Gold Chardonnay (Denmark)
Ale Apothecary Sahalie (Oregon)
Ale Apothecary La Tache (Oregon)
Cascade Sang Royale (Oregon)
Cascade Sang Rouge (Oregon)
Cascade Strawberry (Oregon)
Cascade Figaro (Oregon)
Cascade Blackberry (Oregon)
Cascade Blueberry (Oregon)
Cascade Apricot (Oregon)
Cascade Blackcap Raspberry (Oregon)
Cascade Kriek (Oregon)
Double Mountain Tahoma Kriek (Oregon)
Woodland Empire Set ‘em Wild… Peach Berliner Weisse (Idaho)
Dageraad 8° (BC)
Le Trou du Diable Dulcis Succubus (Quebec)
Le Trou du Diable l’Herisson (Quebec)
Le Trou du Diable l’Ours (Quebec)
Les Trois Mousquetaires Berliner Weisse (Quebec)
Old Abbey Flemish Brett Brown (BC)
R&B Export Sour Stout (BC)
Townsite Blackberry Wheat Sour (BC)
3 Fonteinen Golden Doesjel Lambic
Pours a deep, rich orange-yellow colour. Notes of tart hard cider and oak on the nose. On the palate there’s a nice hit of honey up front followed by tart grapefruit notes and unripe stone fruit. Modest carbonation.
R&B Kettle Sour Export Stout
Pours a dark black-brown colour. Dark malt notes of chocolate and espresso on the nose. Tart and dry up front with roasty malt notes of coffee, bitter chocolate and maple syrup and a zip of acidity on the finish.
Old Abbey Flemish Brett
Pours a chestnut brown colour. Big notes of dark stewed fruit, funk and cherries on the nose. Sweet and round dubbel-like malt notes are balanced by tart cherry and funk flavours on the palate.
Townsite Blackberry Sour
Pours a ruby rose colour. Notes of sweet berries, rustic earthiness and sweet malt on the nose. Acidic notes of malt vinegar, tart berries and grapes on the palate. Long, sour finish.
Les Trois Mousquetaires Berliner Weisse
Pours a hazy pale yellow colour. Tart cider and honey on the nose with a hint of lemon. Very dry, sour, austere and light on the palate with a crisp drinkability.
Cascade Apricot Ale
Pours a lovely amber color with a cream-colored head. The aroma of fresh, ripe apricots wafts from the glass. On the palate, juicy tart apricot and a backbone of oak, from 16 months French oak barrel-aging.