Pucker up with these summer sours

Rob Mangelsdorf photo

It’s August, and it’s time to soak in the bliss that is the British Columbia summer. Which means if you’re not currently chilling next to a large body of water, then you need to trick your tastebuds into thinking you are.

Our recommendation: a deliciously light fruited sour ale.

This style has taken off in recent years and bear a closer resemblance to a refreshing cocktail than a Lucky Lager, with their lively acidity and fruit-forward flavour. In fact, it’s hard to believe some of these are even beers at all!

If the last time you had a sour ale Donald Trump was still just a cheesy reality TV show host, then it might be time to revisit this style. The borderline vinaigrette salad dressings that marked the first wave of B.C. craft sours are long gone. Today, there is an almost endless variety of delicious, refreshing and balanced sour ales.

So, chill out with some of our favourite fruity sours and send yourself to the beach, if only in your imagination.

There Will Be Samba by Beere Brewing

6.6% ABV • 473 mL tall cans

Brazil is like really, really, REALLY far away. Airline tickets aren’t cheap these days (were they ever?) so if you want to get into Carnival state of mind, in August, on the opposite side of the world in the west coast of Canada, this is your best option. This lime-laden caipirinha-inspired sour is as refreshing as Brazil’s national cocktail–and you don’t have to spend 27 hours on a flying Covid tube to get it!

Passionfruit Popper by 33 Acres EXP

5.0% ABV • 473 mL tall cans

Refreshingly effervescent and featuring restrained acidity, this “popper” explodes with passionfruit flavour and aroma, and could honestly pass for a soft drink. Is it bad that we want to serve it over ice?

Raspberry Lavender Sour by Moody Ales & Co.

5.0% ABV • 473 mL tall cans

This beer is outrageously delicious. Fruity, floral, delicately herbal, with a bright and balanced acidity. Tart, but not puckering. Light, but so flavourful. Even just the aroma is intoxicating.

Triple Fruited Gose by Field House Brewing

4.6% ABV • 473 mL tall cans

This delightful salted sour ale is a sensory overload. The nose is pure passion fruit, but take a sip and there’s so much more going on: salmonberry, guava, citrus, grapefruit. It’s tropical tiki party in your mouth, but without all that problematic cultural appropriation.

Passionfruit by Four Winds Brewing Co.

5.5% ABV • 473 mL tall cans

Four Winds’ Nectarous pretty much set the world on fire when it came out in 2016, promptly winning Beer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards and singlehandedly inspired every brewery in the country to make a dry-hopped sour (with varying degrees of success). Six years later, and Four Winds decides to kick things up a notch with a passionfruit variant. And guess what? It’s fucking delicious. Gobs of passionfruit and tropical flavour, superbly balanced, tart but not overly sour. Look for it in stores and on top of podiums.

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