Garden City Sours
juicy, sour beers made from locally grown fruits
If you're a regular in the craft beer community you'll probably have noticed that sour beers have been soaking up the spotlight for the last couple of years.
Their vibrant colours and full juicy flavours have turned the heads of the traditional beer drinkers and opened the door as something of a 'gateway beer' for those that haven't been interested in beer before.
And by the way, we're totally here for it.
Although sour beers seem to be a new style, that's not totally the case. Lambics, a style that originated in Belgium, have been brewed and served regularly since the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
A few types of sour beers:
Gose - An ancient German variety traditionally includes salt and coriander and has a light, refreshing tartness.
Berliner Weisse - Also originating from Germany, this beer style is typically of low ABV (3-4%) with wheat as its base grain. Traditionally served with fruit syrup to balance its tartness.
Lambic - This ancient beer from Belgium is spontaneously fermented and aged in oak barrels; meaning the wort is left exposed to the open air for a period to mingle with species of wild yeast.
Framboise - Another Belgian brew, made with raspberries to impart both flavour, tartness, and colour!
American Wild Ale - This is a broad category referring to beers brewed in the USA using wild fermentation (yeast that is not commercially domesticated)
What makes them sour?
While some of the tartness comes from the fruit added to the beer, the most common method involves adding bacteria like lactobacillus (lacto) and pediococcus (pedio).
Lacto converts sugar into lactic acid for lower (more acidic) pH levels and can be found in yogurt and other dairy products. This bacteria is also responsible for giving sour beer its signature tart, crisp flavors.
Pedio tends to have more unique aromas and flavors that lacto might not produce, therefore giving "wild" yeasts like brettanomyces (brett) more to react with. Pedio also produces lactic acid and creates diacetyl compounds for a more intense taste.
All of these bacteria eat sugar like traditional brewer's yeast, but their production of lactic and acetic acids cannot be replicated by regular yeast.
Fortunately for us, and you too, there are so many farms within our reach that are producing top quality organic fruit. Here are some examples of the fruity concoctions we've come up with, and the farms they came from:
Featuring heaps and heaps of black currants grown by Silver Rill Berry Farm on the Saanich Peninsula. The grain bill is made up of locally grown pilsner and wheat grown and malted by Field 5 Farm also located along the Saanich Peninsula! Making this beer truly local and just as tasty.
This beer is all about the delicious berry that covers our sideroads and bike trails in the thick of summer. Featuring 150lbs of blackberries grown by Michells Farm located on the Saanich Peninsula. And as per our usual the base malt is made up of strictly locally grown pilsner and wheat malt from Field 5 Farm.
We threw in 150lbs of fresh strawberries from Michells Farm into this sweet brewski. The base malt is completely made up of locally grown pilsner and wheat malt from the Field 5 Farm. Just as juicy, but maybe more tart than the others!