Beyond the most popular brew shaking up the Ontario beer scene a.t.m. this funky fresh, tart and drop dead delicious style; it’s sour beer. It really crazy how in the last year it’s a style that has gained such a huge following, inviting our amazing Ontario brewers let loose and have some fun in the process.
Sours can be light, fresh and quite possibly the most thirst quenching beer on the market. Trust, as I find shelter beneath the patio umbrella from this wicked hot pre-summer sun, laptop at my hands and a chilled Citra Grove at my side while breaking for every spare moment to grab a refreshing sip of this killer sour from Bench Brewing. It smells like sunshine soaked orange and lemon peels. It has that fresh scent of pineapple, ripe and tangy without the prickly shell. That ever so cooling and revitalizing sip that knocks you backwards into a pool of the Nestea plunge! If you’re anything like me and love the taste of light & fun acidic wines with a dash of sour patch kids you’re going to love love love this sour beer from Bench.
I read once that sour beer is the oldest type of beer in history. I think they were referring to the beers pre sterilization and pasteurization…which really to me is what kills all of the good shit you want to find in a craft beer anyways! These days sour beers are tart tasting and just straight up rays of sunshine. Made with wild bacteria and yeast vs. the more standard beers today are made in sterile environments with specific strains of yeast. They’re just different, I am not saying that I don’t still enjoy a solid lager every now and then. Just think about it, all of those amazing wild organisms in sour beer is what makes them so pleasurable. Sours can come in all shapes and sizes from the HOLY HELL lemon-pucker-power-bombs to Burgundian barnyard funk to fun, fruity and light. Belgium makes some of the most famous sours and those are most often aged in oak barrels. The barrels are what introduce oxygen to the beers and give them breath and life to create little villages of microorganism. The beer geek in me loves the layers of flavour that can be found piled ontop of eachother in a sour and for those of you out there like my mother…the people who don’t really like beer; love the fact that it doesn’t taste like your typical brew.
If you are new to sours the Citra Grove from soon-to-open Bench Brewery in Beamsville is definitely a great one to start with. Really pleasant, not overly sour and very fruit forward, while still showcasing some nice citra hops. You can find this beer in the LCBO, I forsure know it’s available cold and in the fridge’d section at the Geneva St. location in St. Catharines. Why don’t you see for yourself just how transforming it is, it will turn your dry cotton-mouth into a happily rain-soaked cloud of enjoyment.
Beer: Citra Grove, Dry Hopped Sour
Brewery: Bench Brewing Company
Address: 3991 King St, Beamsville, ON
Buy it: Your local LCBO $6.95
Fun Fact: Bench Should be opening Late June!! Can’t wait to check out all of the amazing things they are going to be doing!