Sour beer is brewed and fermented in oak barrels with some specific types of yeast and bacteria, Brettanomyces or Brett, Lactobacillus and/or Pediococcus to achieve the sour or tart finished taste. The Brett is a yeast that adds unique flavor while the lactobacillus fermentation process results in a byproduct called lactic acid, which gives sour beer the sharp, tart taste. Sour beers have been around for sometime now, but are becoming increasingly popular at local Boston breweries. The sour beer flavors are often fruity in nature, but can also carry the essence of vanilla or chocolate and even a hint of cinnamon.
100 Clinton St.
Framingham, MA 021702
Cherry Barrel-Aged Berliner Braun is a sour beer that is aged in bourbon barrels with tart cherries so it develops a fruity and citrusy tart flavor. Jack’s Abby has developed a Sour Barrel Program featuring several other sour beers including Golden Sour with blueberries and Golden Sour with nectarines. Each of these beers have a unique flavor while sharing the quality of tartness.
Cambridge Brewing Company
1 Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 02139
This sour beer is fermented several times with 300 pounds of sour cherries and then rested for nine years in oak barrels. Cerise Cassée is a dark red beer that has the scent and blended flavors of vanilla, malt, fruit and oak tannin and finishes the palate with a distinct tartness. Cerise Cassée is growing in popularity at the Cambridge Brewing Company, located in the City of Cambridge, which is immediately north of Boston.
The Boston Beer Company
30 Germania St.
Boston, MA 02130
Cosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru is a sour beer that is aged in the Barrel Room at the popular Boston Beer Company, a Samuel Adams Brewery. It is a unique Belgian ale that is fermented with a wild yeast and Belgian candi sugar to give it the one-of-a-kind deep flavor. This dark reddish-brown beer has tart and complex flavor with hints of dark fruits, cherry, cocoa and vanilla. The flavors are a wonderfully good and rich blend.
Related: Boston’s Best Fall Craft Beers
Night Shift Brewing
87 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149
Maine Weisse sour ale is aged and fermented with plump Maine wild blueberries and cinnamon sticks at Night Shift Brewing in Everett, just north of Boston. The beer is an interesting deep purple color and carries the tart taste of blueberry blended with the distinct flavor of cinnamon. This is a rich, albeit sour, beer with good body.
283 R Derby St.
Salem, MA 01970
Hootenanny Berliner Weisse, a sour beer made just north of Boston at Notch Brewing in Salem, pours completely transparent and clear in color. It is brewed with the bacteria lactobacillus, which produces lactic acid and the ultimate tart and sour taste. Some drinkers declare the flavor of Hootenanny Berliner Weisse to be like that of a sour apple, while others call it a more lemon-based sourness.
Related: Boston’s Best Brewery Tours
Nancy is a native Bostonian. She enjoys the sights, sounds and tastes of Boston while exploring the city by day or night. Nancy is also a school nurse at an independent middle/high school. Her work can be found on a variety of websites, including Examiner.com.