I go to Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium in Asheville about once a year. There’s also several bottle shops in my area that stock their brews. I have a friend that brews a lot of his own stuff that recently did a sour because of how much I love them.
I do feel like they are either hit or miss. Not a fan of every single one, but they sure are a lot of fun.
/image Wicked Weed Funkatorium
@macromeh@moonhat Think of them (Framboise is strawberry, Kriek is cherry, Pêche is peach) like we think of a shandy here in the US. We don’t consider a shandy a “sour beer” even though it has lemon. The fruit-infused beers are great summer porch-sippers too. The Spanish, having a hotter climate, made Sangria with wine instead of beer.
My Recommendations: (In order of personal preference)
Belgian Kriek Ale from Coopersmith’s (Fort Collins)
Transatlantiqe Kriek from New Belgium (Fort Collins)
Lips Of Faith (Any of them) from New Belgium
The Dinger! from Saint Patrick’s Brewing (Littleton)
Sour Monkey from Victory (Downington)
Sweet Heat Gose from Coopersmith’s
Sucker Punch Sour from Grist (Highlands Ranch)
Monika Berlinski from Locavore (Littleton)
El Gose from Avery Brewing (Boulder)
A Thoughtful Note from Dogfish Head (Milton)
Funk Metal from Jester King (Austin)
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are a lot of great sours out there. Almost anything out of Black Bottle Project in Denver, Crooked Stave in Commerce City, Jester King in Austin, try them all! Avery makes ALOT of sours too (That might be easier to find than others on my list, as they export a lot more.)
If you want to ease into sours, look for barrel-aged or cask-aged lambics/sours that have been aged in Sherry or Port casks for at least 6 months (The longer the better), these are the top-shelf beers that you want to enjoy with a nice cigar or a rich and fatty smoked elk flank (The tartness of the Lambic adds a nice pairing and palate refreshener/cleanser to ether a heavy cigar or smoked meats.)
The other way to ease into Sours is fruited-sours, which honestly seems to be the most popular form in the US. These tend to be sweet and tart more than standard pucker-your-face sours. Berry flavors such as Cherry, Raspberry, and Boysenberry are very popular, followed by Citrus, Mango, Pineapple, Strawberry, etc.
You can also ask many bars or breweries to salt the rim of your glass, which much like with margaritas, removes the sour/tart bite and can alter the flavor profile in some fun and very pleasant ways.
As I write this, I’m actually enjoying a Sour Monkey from Victory, it’s delicious!