Posted May 14, 2013 by Crafted Pours in

Best Sour Beers


Sour beer, to some it sounds unappealing, but for many craft beer fans it is a favorite style of beer. Wild yeast and lactobacillus fermentations produce refined sour flavors, after long periods of aging. Most beers are aged in wood barrels or casks which add complexity to the beers, and allow the yeast to do their work.

Sour beer flavors have most likely existed since  the first beers were produced, as wild yeast spontaneously fermented grains. Belgium refined the art of producing sour beers in the last century with their Lambics, which are fermented in open air fermentation vessels. Lambics are commonly produced with fruit, cherries and raspberries being the most popular choices. There are also wonderful unflavored Lambics, called Gueuze’s, which are blends of different aged sour beers. Gueuze beers are tart and effervescent with notes of oak and earthiness.

In America, sour beers have taken off in the last decade, and are commonly referred to as American Wild Ales, or referenced to styles, such as a Flanders Style Sour Brown Ale. The Lambic term is reserved for the special beers which are only produced in Belgium. Some American Craft Brewers solely focus on barrel-aged sour beers, including Cascade Brewing in Portland, Oregon, and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Michigan. Other brewers, like The Bruery and Russian River Brewing, include sour beers in their year-round offerings.

The list below includes some of the top rated sour beers, with a focus on American Craft Brewed Sour Beers, but we have included a couple Belgian favorites.

Top Rated Sour Beers
Cuvee de Jacobins

Barrel-Aged Sour Red Ale from the Flanders region of Belgium. An amazing beer that is very sour, with notes of wood and earthiness. View Ratings

Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien

Barrel-Aged Sour Biere de Garde brewed in Switzerland. Flavorful and complex with very refined sour flavors. View Ratings

The Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze

Brewed in the style of a Belgian Gueuze. A blend of young and old barrel-aged beers. Tart flavor with notes of oak, vanilla, and earthiness. View Ratings

Jolly Pumpkin La Roja Sour Red Ale

Flanders Style Sour Red Ale barrel-aged in oak for up to 10 months. Notes of earthy wood, tart fruit, and light caramel. View Ratings

Cascade Tangerine Dream NW

Rum Barrel-Aged Sour Old Ale flavored with tangerine zest and apricot. View Ratings

Cascade Brewing Vlad the Imp Aler

A strong American Sour Ale barrel-aged with spices for up to 2 years.  Very refined sourness with notes of vanilla, oak, and citrus. View Ratings

Cascade Brewing Blueberry Ale

Barrel-Aged Sour Fruit Beer aged in oak with blueberries for up to twelve months. Tart berry flavors with notes of oak and earthiness. View Ratings

Avery Opuntia

Tequila Barrel-Aged Sour Ale flavored with prickly pears. Aged for 9 months in oak tequila barrels. View Ratings

The Bruery Oude Tart Flemish-Style Sour Red Ale

Brewed in the style of Flanders Sour Red Ale. Complex sour flavors with notes of oak and dark fruit. View Ratings

The Bruery Tart of Darkness

Brewed as a Sour Stout. The blend of dark roasty malts and high sourness results in an amazing beer. View Ratings

 The Bruery Hottenroth Berliner Weisse

Brewed in the style of a Berliner Weisse. A low alcohol wheat beer that is crisp, tart, and extremely refreshing. View Ratings

The Bruery Sour in the Rye

Sour Rye Ale rewed with 40% rye malt. Barrel-aged in oak with wild Brettanomyces and lactobacillus souring cultures. View Ratings

Odell Brewing The Meddler Flanders Sour Brown Ale

A Flanders Style Sour Brown Ale, barrel-aged for up to 18 months. Refined sourness with notes of oak, caramel malt, and vanilla. View Ratings

Prairie Somewhere

Barrel-Aged Sour Ale fermented with Brett yeast and souring lacto cultures. Dry and citrusy with a tart finish. View Ratings

Russian River Brewing Temptation Sour Blonde Ale

A Sour Blonde Ale aged in oak Chardonnay barrels. Notes of vanilla, oak, and white wine grapes. Complex and refreshing. View Ratings

Russian River Brewing Supplication Sour Brown Ale

A Sour Brown Ale aged in Pinot Noir barrels with sour cherries. Notes of tart cherry, oak, and earthiness. View Ratings

Upright Brewing Fantasia Barrel-Aged Peach Beer

A refreshing Barrel-Aged Sour Peach Ale with a mild sourness profile and flavors of fresh peaches. View Ratings

Jester King Bonnie the Rare Berliner Weisse

A sour Berlin Style Wheat Beer. Low in alcohol with refined sour flavors and complex notes of oak and tart citrus. View Ratings

Jester King Funk Metal Sour Barrel-Aged Stout

Dark, delicious and sour. Barrel-Aged Sour Stout brewed with seven malts and barrel-aged with wild yeast. View Ratings

Upland Brewing Sour Reserve

Blended Barrel-Aged Sour Beer. Notes of oak, earthiness, and tart dark fruit. View Ratings

Solstice d’été Sour Raspberry Wheat Ale

A Sour Wheat Beer flavored with raspberries. Brewed in Quebec by Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel. Tart raspberry flavor. View Ratings

Cisco Brewers Monomoy Kriek

Barrel-Aged Sour Cherry Ale. Tart, complex, and refreshing. View Ratings

Almanac Farmer’s Reserve No.3

White Wine Barrel-Aged Sour Ale flavored with strawberries and nectarines. View Ratings

Crooked Stave Oculus

White Wine Barrel-Aged Sour Belgian Golden Ale. Fermented with wild Brettanomyces yeast. View Ratings

New Glarus Thumbprint Berliner Weisse

Sour German Wheat Beer barrel-aged in oak with Reisling grapes. Light, tart, and refreshing. View Ratings

Captain Lawrence Rosso E Marrone

Barrel-Aged Sour Ale aged in oak with red grapes and wild Brettanomyces yeast. View Ratings

Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René

A blended unflavored Lambic Sour Beer brewed in Belgium. Tart and effervescent with notes of woody oak. View Ratings

PipeWorks Cranpire Christmas

Berliner Weisse sour wheat beer flavored with fresh cranberries. View Ratings

Jack’s Abby Berliner Braun

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Cherry Berliner Weisse. Refreshing and tart with sour cherry flavors. View Ratings