This week, Craft Beers Gone Wild looks at beers from the Sour beer style.
Sour beer styles:
While any type of beer may be soured, most follow traditional or standardized guidelines.
American wild ale
Beers brewed in America utilizing yeast and bacteria strains instead of or in addition to standard brewers yeasts tend to fall under the catch-all term American wild ale. These microflora may be cultured or acquired spontaneously, and the beer may be fermented in a number of different types of brewing vessels. American wild ales tend not to have a specific parameters or guidelines stylistically, but instead simply refer to the use of unusual yeasts.
At one time the most popular alcoholic beverage in Berlin, this is a somewhat weaker (usually around 3% abv) beer made sour by use of Lactobacillus bacteria. This type of beer is usually served with flavored syrups to balance the tart flavor.
Flanders red ale
Descendent from English porters of the 17th century, Flanders red ales are first fermented with usual brewers yeast, then placed into oak barrels to age and mature. Usually, the mature beer is blended with younger beer to adjust the taste for consistency. The name comes from the usual color of these ales.
Gose (pronounced "go-suh") is a top-fermenting beer that originated in Goslar, Germany. This style is characterized by the use of coriander and salt and is made sour by inoculating the wort with lactic acid bacteria before primary alcoholic fermentation.
Lambic beer is spontaneously fermented beer made in the Pajottenland region of Belgium and Brussels. Wort is left to cool overnight in the koelschip where it is exposed to the open air during the winter and spring, and then placed into barrels to ferment and mature. Most lambics are blends of several season's batches, such as gueuze, or are secondarily fermented with fruits, such as Kriek and Framboise. As such, pure unblended lambic is quite rare, and few bottled examples exist.
Originating from the Flemish region of Belgium, oud bruins are differentiated from the Flanders red ale in that they are darker in color and not aged on wood. As such this style tends to use cultured yeasts to impart its sour notes.