“How the hell can you drink that?”
That’s the typical response a sour beer lover gets when they entreat – beg, really – a newbie to give their sour swill a sip. Like oysters, scotch and kimchi, sour beers definitely are an acquired taste.
While in no danger of surpassing hoppy IPAs as the most in-demand beer in a craft brewery’s arsenal, sour beers are the talk of the town when it comes to beer geeks. With flavors that range from tart, crisp and fruity to downright funky, the sour beer family gives beer lovers a whole new landscape to explore.
“Sour beers are approaching the level where IPAs were a few years ago,” says Jeff Draeger, GM at Market Garden Brewery
and its sister establishments. “Not too long ago, nobody cared about IPAs and all of the sudden they are the biggest beer going.”
But even Draeger admits that sour beers sometimes can be a tough sell.
“I think people just don’t know enough about sour beers to actually love them,” he says. “I think it’s just a matter of getting the word out there and educating people about them. They range from some really approachable ones to really sour ones.”
To do that, Bier Markt
will be hosting its first ever Summer Sour Slam, a celebration of all things wild and funky. To be held this Saturday, July 25 from noon on, the free event is a must-stop for sour beer fans. There will be 15 sour beers on tap, many more in bottles, and hourly tappings of some very special selections.
“Most of these are beers you won’t see anywhere else around here,” Draeger says, calling special attention to an Italian sour cider, an English gose, and a full slate of options from the revered Belgium Brewery Cantillon.
There will be plenty of knowledgeable beer reps on hand – not to mention Draeger – to walk attendees through the offerings, most of which will be sold in 11-ounce pours. It will be “business as usual” in terms of food options.