Atlas Valley Purveyors
Boulder County's only family general store.


Sour Beers

Original Content by Bryce

Before the advent of microbiology, when people did not yet know what was actually fermenting their beer, all beer was sour. Brewers would rely on a prayer and a breeze to bring propitious microbes into their breweries and would make beer with what arrived; never a pure culture like we now have, but always a mélange of yeast and bacteria that would make a crisp product if consumed immediately and a sour tangy product within weeks. In 1870 at the Carlsburg Brewery in Denmark the first yeast strain was isolated, purified and cultured to industrial quantities; marking the first time a beer was fermented using a single yeast completely excluding souring bacteria.

Modern sour beers have a variety of tradition and heritage, some beers are made sour as they have been made for centuries, some beers are throwbacks to recipes that had long been abandoned and only recently reinvigorated, and some beers are modern innovations on ancient techniques bringing traditional flavors to contemporary palates. The most traditional beers still made in the older ways come from the Flemmish region of Belgium where lambic producers make crisp sour wheat beers using open fermentation and barrel aging. 3 year old lambic is mixed with 1 year old lambic to produce the geyser-like geueze with ripping acidity and barnyard like funk. Recreations of abandoned styles are being produced by Professor Fritz from Munich. He has discovered old recipes and techniques that have not been used since before the Great War and has been making old style Berliner-Weiss ales that are not boiled and have a bright Meyer lemon zest flavo 

Kristin CohagenComment