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Beer School: how is sour beer made? | The Craft Beer Channel



Jonny travels to Belgium to meet the men who make the world’s best sour beers, including the world famous Cantillon.

Sour beers may be an acquired taste, but they are one seriously worth acquiring. They were the first beers ever brewed so every beer owes it a debt – here’s how they are made. Now pucker up and give them their due.

As in the video, here are our favourite sour beer breweries (in no particular order):

Cantillon
Beersel
Boon
Tilquin
Lindemans
Liefmans
Wild Beer Co
Russian River
New Belgium
Almanac
Siren Craft Brew
Celtic Experience

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38 comments

  1. Valentina Farrugia

    MOA Cherry Sour got me onto this style.

  2. ClearSmashDrop

    I didn't know sour beers even existed until a month or so ago. I've never really found a beer I liked until now. I guess my palette is different because I liked the very first sour I tried (American made) and really like a Belgium one I tried. Only down side it cant find them in regular grocery stores.

  3. Jens Bøttcher

    Hey guys. Would have been nice if you had added subtitles, because sometimes it was really hard to hear what was said. 🙂 Nice video otherwise.

  4. These are the kind of videos I like best from TCBC. A beer destination trip and a lesson in beer history. From a home brewers standpoint this was a very well made tutorial about the Belgian Lambic traditions. Thanks

  5. Great beer videos man! Interested in brewing as a career? Check out my New Channel for Commercial Brewing questions/techniques, cheers!

  6. Had my first sour the other day, it made me crave more. They're kind of difficult to find in the basic grocery stores though.

  7. Randall Schoverling

    Are you not supposed to use a charred barrel for aging sours?

  8. Excellent video. I just stopped by the Rare Barrel in Berkeley CA today and sampled some great sours! I highly recommend going there if you're ever in the area.

  9. Mark Sniadecki

    Upland Brewery (based in Bloomington, Indiana) produces a variety of sour beers, and recently opened a new facility especially for them.

  10. giannetto1000

    In brett I trust.

  11. OK, look, I love beer and I do a lot of home brewing. Nobody loves a good beer more than me. But I tried a sour beer awhile back, and I can see why people quit drinking them many years ago. I can't remember the name of it, but it was supposed to be one of the good ones. Now if you have the taste for sour beer then more power to ya. As for me, I'm gonna take a pass.

  12. Do they have hops? There's no mention of them.

  13. Frying Enigmas

    I LOVE SOUR BEER!!! ITS THE WAY BEER WAS MEANT TO TASTE!!!

  14. One if my first Ventures into European craft beer was a sour beer from Germany and it tasted like a pickle haha my palate wasn't ready for it.

  15. Wicked Weed and Burial in Asheville NC are doing some great sours

  16. invinciblejets

    "Sour" beer ..is beer.

  17. Whiskey River

    Cantillon…………"nearly" impossible to find in the States; but a good friend in NYC turned me on to some of their Rose de Gambrinus last year. Exquisitely marvelous, and enjoyable to the extreme. My next road trip needs to be to Belgium, my favorite beer brewers; well, next to Yorkshire that is……. LOL!!! Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs, and Crooked Stave in Denver, come as close as I've ever tasted, to a true Belgian sour. If you're ever in their area, you must give them a visit. Cheers!

  18. Alexander Robnett

    Good vid!

  19. never heard about sour beer

  20. lm drinking the Reuss sour beer love them sour ales.

  21. im actually drinking that Almanac Dog Patch sour its fucking incredible.

  22. chaosrulerofall

    cascade brewing company makes beautiful sour beers in the US

  23. Wild beers (with brett or other "free range" yeast) are different from soured beers (with lactobacillus or other souring bacteria) though. A wild beer isn't necessarily a sour beer. And a sour beer doesn't have be born as a wild beer.

    You mention this a little bit in the beginning when first discussing barrel aging with Cantillon where you mention lactic acid but it feels like you don't make enough distinction throughout the video. Maybe it would have been a bit too confusing but I see this mistaken identity a lot now that "sours are the new black." Thanks for your videos! Just found them through a craft beer club post over here in Singapore.

  24. brittany brinker

    Very cool and very informative video. I've never watched anything from your channel before, but this has turned me on to watching them. Thank you, and cheers.

  25. fat420cracker

    I love me some sours. Cantillon, de Garde, Cascade, The Commons, Upright, Breakside, The Bruery,  Rare Barrel, Jester King, Crooked Stave etc etc etc

  26. There is a great brewery called Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa California. They make a great sour beer called Consecration. High on sourness, and so smooth.

  27. King of Whiskey

    +The Craft Beer Channel hey two questions. So is it possible to make a bold flavored beer with mangos? If so could you guys make one, please?

  28. Oliver Coningham

    Great video and introduction to the style. I'm personally still waiting for a eureka moment, but it's still interesting nonetheless. Got a bottle of St. Austell's Tamar Creek (a kriek not a sour) so perhaps it'll come from there.

    I have a question though… As the yeast added is spontaneous and not measured, how can they continually brew the same sour? Would each batch not be different depending on the type and amount of yeast they had? Would a bottle of Cantillon purchases now taste completely different to one purchased 2 years ago say?

  29. Francesco Bandini

    I expect a Zwanze special video!!! 😉

  30. Francesco Bandini

    I really love Beersel Kriek! So good!!!

  31. Another brilliant video. I love a good sour every once in a while. Perfect for waking up the sences.

  32. How similar is that white grape must blend to Vigneronne?

  33. What's the most common yeast strain the Belgians use? Lactobacillus?

  34. I tried Diabolus Sour Ale from Durham Brewery last week, really nice drink and taste I've never experienced before. At 10% ABV I expected to really taste the alcohol or excessive sweetness but the sour taste controlled everything!

  35. Yay! Beer School is back!

  36. AdamsCraftBeerChannel

    Great video Jonny. Fantastic production and a great topic that everyone in craft beer should know about for the upcoming Summer! Cheers!

  37. Great video! now I'm interested in tasting a sour beer and hopefully one day make one

  38. Great work guys, I see a Beer Writers Guild award in your future (if you are a member).

    Informative yet approachable for the less beer geeky folk out there.

    Well done gents.

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