Here is my weekly column that originally appeared in the March 6th issue of DIG Magazine.
When some people hear the words “sour beer,” their first thoughts are usually confused ones. After all, isn’t sour something you don’t want in a beer? Most of the time that answer is yes. However, there is an entire beer style of intentionally soured beers that is gaining popularity. These include Belgian lambics, gueuzes, krieks, and Flanders red ales. Introducing wild yeast strains and bacteria into the fermentation process creates sour beers.
Monk’s Café by Belgium’s Van Steenberge is an example of a Flanders oud bruin, and is a great introduction to sour styles. It pours a dark brown to ruby color with a fizzy off-white head that fades rather quickly. The smell is of fruity apples and cherries, with a light malt aroma. The taste is a blend of sweet fruit and sour cherries, with a very pleasant tartness. The finish is refreshingly dry and not overwhelmingly sour.
If you’re looking to expand your beer palate, Monk’s Café is a great way to start.