Minnesota drinkers are falling in love with sour beers. Michael Agnew, a certified cicerone and owner of A Perfect Pint recently mused about the recent phenomenon and change of taste in Minnesota. The initial perception was that there was something a little off about drinking sour beers, the feeling that “it certainly wasn’t what beer was intended to be”. These beers have now been embraced by the brewers of America. Craft beer enthusiasts are chomping at the bit to get a taste of this style that is growing in popularity.
Niko Tonks, head brewer at Fair State Brewing Cooperative, a specialist in wild-ale, gave the run down on sour beers in an initially complex manner “..the more complex answer is that sour beers are beers that employ yeast and bacteria to produce alcohol and lactic acid.” But what defines sour beers is a wide range of flavours, from lemony tartness to rustic leather and barnyard funk.
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis–Saint Paul are a hop-centric market and that growth of popularity of the style is largely down to an adventurous punter and local breweries that are more than happy to follow the demand.
This precedent would beg the question whether a similar shift in taste would follow in Ireland. We here at Craft Beer Growlers are optimistic about the prospect! Our ears were recently cocked when Trouble Brewing brought their Berliner Weisse, aptly named Weisse City, a sour beer that perhaps is running a little under the radar. As befitting the style, the beer is a hazy golden straw colour and the flavour is tart with a touch of acidity in the finish.
We can only speculate on the ‘imminent’ sour beer boom, but if our friends across the pond have taken to it, then who’s to say we wont either?