Fruited Sour Beers

Fruited sour beers have become increasingly popular among craft aficionados in recent years, offering a unique and complex flavor profile that is perfect for those looking to expand their beer-tasting horizons. But what exactly is a fruited sour beer?

At its most basic level, a fruited sour beer is any type of beer that has been soured using some form of acidification—typically lactobacillus or Brettanomyces—and then blended with a variety of fruits. While there are many variations on the style, most fruited sour beers contain a base of either wheat or barley that has been fermented with lactobacillus bacteria. Fruits are then added either during fermentation or after the beer has finished fermenting in order to add complexity and sweetness to the final product. As a result, these beers often display an array of aromas and flavors ranging from tart to sweet, with notes of citrus, berry, stone fruit, and even tropical fruits being commonly present.

The practice of blending soured beer with fruit dates back centuries in Europe. However, it wasn't until relatively recently that brewers began intentionally producing these types of beers commercially. Today's fruited sours owe much to Belgium's lambic-style ales which are produced by allowing wild yeast strains to naturally ferment wort in open air vessels before aging them in oak for several months or even years. This process results in highly acidic beers with complex flavor profiles that can include notes of hay, leather, funk, smoke, and even Brett character.

In contrast to traditional lambics which rely on wild microbes for fermentation and barrel-ageing techniques for aging , most commercial fruited sours today are produced using more controlled methods involving either kettle-souring (the addition of lactic acid bacteria during the mashing process) or post-fermentation acidification (adding lactic acid directly into the beer). This allows breweries to produce these beers much more quickly than traditional lambics while still achieving a similar level of acidity and flavor complexity. After fermentation is complete, brewers will often blend their base sour ale with various fruits or fruit juices/concentrates to create unique flavor combinations not possible through other techniques.

When it comes down to identifying a true fruited sour beer from other styles such as American wild ales or Berliner Weisse , there are several key characteristics you should look out for:

  • Tartness – The presence of lactic acid should be evident on both the nose and palate , giving off aromas like lemon or green apples . On the palate , you should expect an intense tartness balanced by subtle sweetness from any added fruit .
  • Fruitiness – This will vary depending on what type(s) if any were used . Common additions include strawberry , raspberry , blueberry , blackberry , cherry , peach , mango , pineapple , passionfruit etc . You should expect aromas reminiscent of fresh cut fruit along with corresponding flavors .
  • Complexity – Fruited sours can range from light bodied sessionable ales to darker fuller bodied brews aged in oak barrels . Look out for additional flavors like hay leather funk smoke Brett etc depending on what type you're drinking .

Now that you know what makes up a fruited sour beer it's time to get out there and sample some! Here are few tips when trying one :

  • Start slow – If you're new to this style don't dive head first into an intense barrel aged version ! Start off with something lighter like a Berliner Weisse before working your way up .
  • Try different variations – There are so many different types out there so don't be afraid to experiment ! Try different fruits see how they interact with each other etc You might even find your own favorite blend !
  • Take tasting notes – This is important not only because it helps you remember what you liked but also because when you find an exceptional example it will be easier for others (and yourself) to track down again later !

What Exactly Is Fruited Sour Beer?

At its most basic level, a fruited sour beer is any type of beer that has been soured using some form of acidification—typically lactobacillus or Brettanomyces—and then blended with a variety of fruits. While there are many variations on the style, most fruited sour beers contain a base of either wheat or barley that has been fermented with lactobacillus bacteria. Fruits are then added either during fermentation or after the beer has finished fermenting in order to add complexity and sweetness to the final product.

The Different Types of Fruited Sour Beers

Fruited sour beers come in many different varieties, each one offering a unique flavor profile that varies depending on the type of fruit used and the brewing process employed. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Berliner Weisse: A light-bodied wheat ale brewed with lactobacillus bacteria and often blended with fruit juices like raspberry or black currant for added sweetness.
  • Gose: A slightly salty wheat ale brewed with lactobacillus bacteria and coriander for spiciness. It is often blended with fruits like apricot or rhubarb for additional flavor depth.
  • Lambics: A Belgian-style unfiltered ale made by fermenting wheat or barley with wild yeast strains like brettanomyces bruxellensis and pediococcus cerevisiae. Fruit is often added during fermentation to create an intensely tart yet balanced flavor profile.
  • Fruit Beers: Most commonly made from pale ales or lagers, these beers are fermented without any wild yeast strains but instead rely on traditional brewer's yeast for fermentation. Fruits like oranges, peaches, cherries, and raspberries are often added prior to bottling for extra sweetness and aroma complexity.
  • Barrel-Aged Sours: These intense brews are typically made from dark malts such as brown ale or porter which have been aged in oak barrels for several months (or even years). The resulting beer is intensely tart yet well balanced by a unique combination of flavors imparted by both the wood and the fruit used in blending (often apricot).

Benefits Of Drinking Fruited Sour Beer

Fruited sour beers offer many benefits to craft beer lovers including:

  • Complex Flavor Profiles: By combining sweet fruits with tangy acids created during fermentation, these types of beers can offer an incredibly complex blend of flavors that cannot be found in traditional styles such as lagers or porters.
  • Low Alcohol Content: With ABV levels ranging from just 4% all the way up to 8% (or higher), these low alcohol content brews make them perfect for those who want something light yet flavorful enough to keep them interested while sipping away at their favorite pub or brewery.
  • Refreshing Taste: Not only do fruity sours have a wonderfully refreshing taste due to their low alcohol content but they also tend to be very carbonated which further enhances their thirst quenching properties!

How To Enjoy Fruited Sour Beer

Fruited sour beers can be enjoyed in several different ways depending on personal preference. Here are some tips on how best to enjoy this type of beer:

  • Serve Chilled & Carbonated: As mentioned above, fruity sours should always be served cold (ideally between 40°F – 50°F) and carbonated (ideally around 2-3 volumes). This will help bring out all their flavor complexities while still keeping things nice and refreshing!
  • Use Glassware Designed For Ales & Lagers: While it may seem counterintuitive at first glance, using glassware designed specifically for ales & lagers will help bring out more aromas & flavors from your fruity sours than if you were using something specific designed for drinking!
fruity beer

What Are Fruited Sours Beer?

Fruited sours can be interpreted in many ways. Generally, though, most people would say that fruited sours are a type of beer. This is because they are made using traditional beer brewing methods and typically contain malted barley and hops. However, there can be some variation in what qualifies as a fruited sour. For example, some brewers may add fruit to their sour beers after the fermentation process is complete, while others may add fruit to the mash or even use fruit puree during the brewing process.

Regardless of how they are made, fruited sours are generally characterized by their tart and acidic flavors, as well as their fruity aromas. This combination of flavors can be quite delicious and can often be compared to eating a piece of pie or other decadent dessert.

fruity beer

Is A Fruited Ale A Sour?

There are a few different types of fruited ales, but most of them are not sour. A sour ale is a type of beer that has been brewed with a specific type of yeast that produces acidity in the beer. This gives the beer a sour or tart flavor. Fruited ales are made by adding fruit to the beer during the brewing process. This can add sweetness, tartness, and othr flavors to the beer. Some fruited ales are also sour, but most are not.

What Is A Fruited Beer?

Fruit beer is a beer made with fruit added as an adjunct or flavouring. This can be done in a number of ways, but most commonly fruits are added to the mash, boiled with the wort, or added as a post-fermentation addition. This gives the beer flavours and aromas of the fruit used, which can be anything from cherries and raspberries to mangos and passionfruit. Fruit beers can be any style of beer, from light lagers to dark stouts, and they are popular among brewers and drinkers alike.

How Much Fruit Is In A Sour Beer?

Sour beers are made by adding a type of bacteria, Lactobacillus, to the beer. This bacteria eats the sugar in the beer and produces lactic acid. Lactic acid is what makes the beer sour. The amount of fruit in a sour beer will depend on how much sugar is in the fruit.

What Is A Citrus Sour Beer?

A citrus sour beer is a type of beer that is brewed with citrus fruits, such as tangelo, peach, lime and green apple. These beers are typically light in body and have a refreshing sourness that can be attributed to the lemon and apple. They are low in alcohol and have a clean finish, making them perfect for enjoying on a hot day.

Are Fruited Sours Sweet?

Fruited sours can be sweet, sour, or somewhere in between. The sweetness can come from the fruit that is used in the beer, or from residual sugars left in the beer after fermentation. Some fruited sours are also barrel-aged, which can add additional flavors and sweetness to the beer.

How Long Do Fruited Sours Last?

Sour beers are generally aged in oak barrels for anywhere from a few months to a few years. During this time, the souring bacteria and wild yeast cultures eat the sugar in the beer and create acids, leading to the tart, puckering flavor that is characteristic of sour beers. Fruited sours are brewed by adding fruit to a batch of sour beer. The fruit flavors will last for a while in the beer, but eventually they will fade. How long they last depends on a number of factors, including the type of fruit used, how much sugar is in the fruit, and how sour the base beer is. Generally speaking, fruited sours will remain bright and fruity for anywhere from 6 months to a year from the bottle release. Beyond this timeframe, however, the beers are often still quite tasty, but ther fruit flavors may fade.

fruity beer

How Are Sours Brewed?

Sour beers are brewed by intentionally allowing wild yeast strains or bacteria into the brew, traditionally through the barrels or during the cooling of the wort in a coolship open to the outside air. Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus are two common types of wild yeast that can create sour flavors in beer, and many brewers will use strains of these yeasts specifically for sour beers. By allowing these organisms into the brewing process, brewers are able to create unique sour flavors and aromas that can't be replicated with other brewing methods.

Do Sour Beers Taste Like Cider?

Yes, sour beers can have a cider-like taste. This is because they often have a tart, fruity flavour that is reminiscent of apples. However, sour beers also have the bitterness and maltiness of ales, as well as the complexity and acidity of wines. This makes them a unique and interesting drink that sits somewhere btween ale, wine and cider.

Why Is Sour Beer Expensive?

Sour beer is expensive becase it requires a large warehouse space in which to age the beer and additional costs such as barrels, racks, blending tanks, cellar staff, and ingredients all add significant costs to making sour beer that traditional non-sour breweries don't incur.

Is Sour Beer An IPA?

Yes and no. Sour beers can be IPAs, but not all IPAs are sour beers. An is a type of beer that is brewed with hops, which gives it a characteristic flavor. A sour beer is a type of beer that is brewed with bacteria or yeast that produces acid, which gives it a characteristic sour flavor. Kettle souring is a process where Lactobacillus is added to the beer to produce acid. This process can be used to make sour IPAs.

How Do You Make Fruited Beer?

Brewing fruited beer is a process that involves adding fruit to beer in order to impart additional flavors and aromas. There are a few different ways to go abot doing this, but the most common is to add fruit during the secondary fermentation stage. This can be done by adding whole fruit, pureeing the fruit first, or using fruit extracts. How much fruit you need will depend on the type of fruit you're using and the style of beer you're brewing. It's always a good idea to start with a smaller amount and add more if needed.

How Do You Sanitize Fruit For Beer?

To sanitize the fruit, you can steep the fruit in hot wort after boiling. At lower temperatures — btween 160–170° F — pectins from the fruit will not be extracted but the heat will still kill any microorganisms on the fruit.

Do All Sours Have Lactose?

There are many types of sour beers, and not all of them contain lactose. Lactose is a sugar molecule that is found in milk and dairy products. Some sour beers are made with lactose as an ingredient, while others may have traces of lactose in them due to the fermentation process. If you are lactose intolerant, it is best to consult with the brewery or your favorite beer store to see if the sour beer you are interested in has any traces of lactose in it.

Why Do Sours Have Lactose?

There are a few reasons why brewers add lactose to sour beers. One reason is that it helps to balance out the tartness of the beer. Sour beers can be quite acidic, and the addition of lactose helps to sweeten them up a bit. Lactose is also a great way to add some extra body and creaminess to these types of beers. This is especially important in styles like berliner weisse and gose, whih are typically light and refreshing. By adding lactose, brewers can give these beers more of a “mouthfeel” and make them more enjoyable to drink. Finally, lactose is also a great way to add some extra sweetness and flavor to sour beers. This can help to offset some of the tartness that can be off-putting to some drinkers.

What Is Smoothie Style Beer?

Smoothie-style beers are made with fruit puree that is not strained, resulting in a thick and creamy that resembles a strawberry milkshake. These beers are often brewed with sour fruits like cherries or raspberries, which gives them a tart and acidic flavor. They are popular among craft beer drinkers for their unique and refreshing taste.

Photo of author

Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.