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If you're looking for the next new thing in craft beer, don't read on, because sour beer is not it. It's old hat, by now. Hundreds of years old. Thousands, even. We just never knew about it until now.
I met with Joel Connelly, director of Sydney Craft Beer Week, to talk about beers, what makes them turn sour and why we're likely to see an imminent emergence of this strange brew. "Australians are still really into 'hoppy beer'," says Connelly, "but the thing in the US that's been massive is sour." Given that our fledgling craft beer scene takes hints from everything American, it seems safe to assume we'll be seeing more and more of this 'new' style. "Sour's coming back now, but it's old. It's super old," he says.
So what exactly is this traditional method of brewing that brings to mind a hops-driven IPA mixed with a bagful of sour worms? And, more importantly, why should I want to drink such an odd concoction? After chatting with such a beer guru, and giving the tart elixir a go myself, I think I know.