Style: Barrel Aged American Wild Sour Ale
“Experimentation. Ales and lagers that defy styles or categories. This is what we are about: our driving force, our passion. To further facilitate this innovative spirit, we’ve developed our Barrel-Aged Series where anything, and we mean ANYTHING, goes! Brewed for those as adventurous as we are!
Conceived in the alley. Born under a roof on Nautilus. Where ‘drain’ isn’t just a noun but finally, once again, a verb as well. FINALLY!”
If you couldn’t figure out from the title, I am going to do a series of beer reviews on four sours released by Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, CO. While barrel-aging has become the new cool fad in craft brewing, Avery has been at it for the past decade. So when they decided to release 4 new barrel aged sours around the time I was thinking about starting this blog I snatched all four up. They have patiently been waiting to get consumed and reviewed and I think now is as good a time as any.
The reason I didn’t do these to kick off my blog is sour beers are different and the word most commonly used to describe them is funky. I am saying this because those getting into craft beers might not want to jump right in with a sour beer since it could drive you away from trying some other amazing styles. But if you like jumping into the deep end head first go for it.
I figured I would start with one of the most unique of the four which also happens to have the lowest ABV, checking in at 5.5% It uses multiple Brett and & Sacch strains of yeast and it is soured with pediococcus and then aged for 9 months in fresh Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.
The beer pours clear and copper in color with a head that quickly disappears leaving no lacing around the glass. The smell gives off hints of grapefruit, sour cherries and lactic acid followed by faint hints of the oak and red wine from the barrels. The taste is really where this beer makes you say wow. The oak and cabernet lead the charge with the delicious flavors of sour cherries, lemon and white grape shine through at the end. The mouthful is light to medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation adding to the bite of the sour. The beer overall is delicious and by far one of the best sours I have ever tasted. The flavor profile is very unique and I think the choice of aging with red wine barrels is genius. It’s a funky beer that’s earthy, rustic and dirty; literally everything you want in a sour. However, it is limited release of only 908 cases, making it a bit pricey. If you want to jump in and try a sour this probably isn’t the beer because of the price point, but if you are already a sour fan, I think it is definitely worth the cash. Cheers!