Have you ever seen a baby taste a lemon for the first time? (Youtube is full of these videos.) That’s what many people look like when they try their first sour beer. It’s a shocking and confusing experience - “Is this beer supposed to taste like this?!”

The answer is yes - there's a huge category of beers that are supposed to taste sour.

These beers aren’t for everyone. But for those who enjoy squeezing extra lime over their Mexican food; for those who love the lively acidity of vinegar with their chips or salad; for those who grew up eating sour gummi lollies and handfuls of tart berries… bring on the sour. 

What makes it a sour beer?

Beer is all about microorganisms; those tiny bugs and beasts make a huge difference in how things taste. Yeast is crucial in the brewing process to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide - this happens in all beer. But other microorganisms, such as lactobacillus bacteria, produce acid; if these are present in a beer, the beer will have a sour taste.

Most sour beer is still made in a very controlled way - the brewer introduces specific bacteria into their beer in a certain way, keeps track of what the bacteria are doing and how the beer is changing, then shuts down the souring process when they’ve got the result they want. 

But if you see the words ‘wild’ or ‘spontaneous’, it means this beer was fermented with less control: the brewer allowed the microorganisms from a certain location into their beer to do what they want to do, and hoped for the best. (Though of course, these brewers have the expertise to make excellent beer this way.) 

What should I expect?

When you’re introduced to sour beer for the first time, it’s a strange concept. There’s an element of, ‘You’ve got to see it to believe it’… or perhaps in this case, ‘You’ve got to taste it to believe it.’

And so I could explain to you the range of flavours in the sour beer world, and how beers can be sour, tart or acidic depending on the brewing process; the way that various fruits and flowers are added to either enhance or balance the sourness; the way that some beers focus on the face-puckering and saliva-producing intense sourness, while other beers use sourness as a subtle flavour to boost the refreshment level up to eleven…

…but you’ll still be surprised when you try your first sour beer. So just like a baby with a lemon, open your mouth, have a big brave taste, and prepare to make some funny faces.

Sour Ale

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  1. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Sharp
    • Light
    Tasting notes
    Brilliant purple colour with moderate clarity. Little body and low bitterness. A moderate sweetness is present to balance the acidity presented by the beer and blackberry. A tart finish from the blackberry that dissipates quickly.
    Blackberry Sour
    Blackberry Sour
    Sour Ale
    Aether Brewing
    Sold By Aether Brewing
    Pay as little as $44.00
    8 pack
    $52.00
    16 pack
    Special Price $74.00 Regular Price $86.00
    4 pack
    $26.00
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  2. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Fizzy
    Tasting notes
    Taste the waters of the Caribbium!
    Caribbium - Pink Guava Gose
    Caribbium - Pink Guava Gose
    Sour Ale
    The Zythologist
    Sold By The Zythologist
    Pay as little as $23.00
    4 pack
    $28.00
    8 pack
    $55.00
    24 pack
    $105.00
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  3. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Fizzy
    Tasting notes
    Tart, jammy, and utterly delicious.
  4. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Fizzy
    Tasting notes
    French flavours inspired
    Lavender & Cherry Sour
    Lavender & Cherry Sour
    Sour Ale
    Frexi Brewing
    Sold By Frexi Brewing
    Pay as little as $46.00
    8 pack
    $52.00
    16 pack
    $95.00
    4 pack
    $26.00
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  5. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Delicate
    Tasting notes
    Mango and Passionfruit. A sour to love.
    Man-goes Nowhere
    Man-goes Nowhere
    Sour Ale
    Urban Alley Brewery
    Sold By Urban Alley Brewery
    Pay as little as $39.00
    8 pack
    $47.00
    24 pack
    $115.00
    4 pack
    $24.00
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  6. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Fizzy
    Tasting notes
    We combined mango nectar with the tartaric acid in tamarind pulp to create a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and sour.
    Mangonium
    Mangonium
    Sour Ale
    The Zythologist
    Sold By The Zythologist
    Pay as little as $23.00
    4 pack
    $28.00
    8 pack
    $55.00
    24 pack
    $105.00
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  7. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Smooth / Velvety
    Tasting notes
    Balance of tartness from kettle sour and smooth creamy lactose, bucket load os raspberries and rose distillate adds complexity
    Rubidium
    Rubidium
    Sour Ale
    The Zythologist
    Sold By The Zythologist
    Pay as little as $45.00
    8 pack
    $55.00
    24 pack
    $105.00
    4 pack
    $28.00
    View Beer
  8. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Fizzy
    Tasting notes
    Simple: Watermelon and Habanero
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