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FOOD & DRINK

Hop Topics: Fancy Yourself a Bit of a Tart? Sour Beers Are Here For You

These tart brews will get your tastebuds tingling.
By Dominic Gruenewald
March 12, 2018
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Hop Topics: Fancy Yourself a Bit of a Tart? Sour Beers Are Here For You

These tart brews will get your tastebuds tingling.
By Dominic Gruenewald
March 12, 2018
  shares

A few years ago, many drinkers would have thrown out their beers after the first sip if they were sour. But 2017 saw a rise in the prevalence of — and preference for — these tart and acidic brews that are bound to get your tastebuds tingling.

While it seems to be a relatively new style of beer, its origins can be traced back to the first beers ever brewed, where wild yeast and spontaneous fermentation were key. Fast forward a few hundred years and sour beers exist in many different varieties, with American wild ales, berliner weisse, gose and lambics being those favoured in the Australian craft beer scene.

Today in Sydney, most craft breweries have either a limited release or core range sour. Wayward Brewing Co's 'Sourpuss' Raspberry Berliner Weisse was one of the first sours to become widely available on tap in venues across Sydney. Then came Batch Brewing Co's range of 90s hip-hop themed sours. These beers — such as Plum DMC, Mango Mathers, 2Peach Shakur and the charmingly named Pash The Magic Dragon passionfruit and dragonfruit sour — helped to secure the sour ale as an idiosyncratic fixture on Australia's brewing scene.

Perhaps the biggest development in terms of sour beer, however, is Wildflower Brewing & Blending in Marrickville. Not a brewery as such — the beer is brewed at Batch nearby — Sydney's first 'blendery' has captured the hearts and tastebuds of sour lovers with its unique and tart ales, which feature Australian botanicals in their yeast cultures.

Wildflower has released a number of beers since opening in 2017, but its standout brew is the sour Wildflower Amber. Released in batches (each one with a slightly different development in flavour) and aged in French oak barrels, this amber ale sits at six-percent ABV and features a complex palate of malt-accented notes with a light acidity. The most recent release, Wildflower Amber #10 ($22 for a 750-millilitre bottle), is available from the cellar door at 11–13 Brompton Street in Marrickville or online.

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SHOPPING LIST

  1. Wayward Brewing Co Sourpuss Raspberry Berliner Weisse, 330ml, $5.50 each or $17.99 for four (also available at the brewery)
  2. Batch Brewing Co Pash The Magic Dragon, 640ml, $12.50 each (also available at the brewery)
  3. Wildflower Amber #10 and #11, 750ml, $22 each

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Hop Topics is our new bi-weekly beer column keeping you up-to-date with the latest beer trends happening around the country.

Dominic Gruenewald is a Sydney based actor, writer and self-proclaimed beer snob. Between gigs, he has pulled pints at all the right venues and currently hosts Sydney's longest running beer appreciation society Alestars at the Taphouse, Darlinghurst.

Published on March 12, 2018 by Dominic Gruenewald

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