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Craft Beer Experts Shout Out The Best Fruited Sour Beers

There are a lot of different beer styles that taste more or less the way drinkers envision beer to taste. We mean the pilsners, lagers, and less hopped pale ales of the world. But — seeing as beer is complex, complicated, and absolutely sprawling — some beer styles read just a little bit different. Enter fruited sour beers which are fruity and sour (no surprise, considering the name), sort of a twofer in terms of unique, memorable flavor profiles. More specifically, these brews are known for their slightly acidic, sometimes funky notes and can be brewed with pretty much any fruit, from peach to raspberry to sour cherry.

Sean Towers, owner and brewer at The Seed: A Living Beer Project in Atlantic City likes sour beers, but actually hates the term “fruited sour.”

“The style of fruited sour has come to mean kettle-soured or quick soured beer with unreasonable levels of highly processed, pasteurized, fruit purees added post-fermentation for an overly sweet, gluttonous, fruit juice with a completely masked background of beer,” he explains. “But that short rant aside, there are many beers out there that very harmoniously pair a reasonable level of acidity with fresh, pure, fruit character.”

Since we’d rather find the latter, we decided to turn to the beer pros for help. We asked a few well-known craft beer experts, brewers, and brewing professionals to tell us the best fruited sour beers they don’t make themselves. Keep reading to see all of their picks.

DeGarde The Sixth Peach

DeGarde The Sixth Peach
DeGarde

Mike Haakenstad, brewing operations manager at Sycamore Brewing in Charlotte, North Carolina

ABV: 6.5%
Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

The Sixth Peach from DeGarde Brewing is a top fruited sour in my book. Peach comes through and through fantastically. The barrel working on this beer is perfect, with just the right amount of oak/vanilla to round out the slight tartness and dry finish. A truly beautiful beer.

Cantillon Fou Foune

Cantillon Fou Foune
Cantillon

Josh Lancaster, brewer at Seven Sounds Brewing Company in Elizabeth City, North Carolina

ABV: 5%
Average Price: $34 for 750ml bottle

Why This Beer?

My favorite fruited sour beer is Fou’ Foune by world-renowned Belgian Lambic producer, Brasserie Cantillon. Fou’ Foune is a blend of spontaneously fermented lambics aged 18-20 months and then fruited with Bergeron Apricots. Fou’ Foune has a well-rounded complexity of acidity, oak, and fruit where each sip is like biting into a juicy apricot. Not so easy to acquire these days, Fou’ Foune is a special treat and best shared with good friends.

Île Sauvage Raspberry Sour

Île Sauvage Raspberry Sour
Île Sauvage

Andy Innes, lead brewer at Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. Ltd. In Victoria, British Columbia

ABV: 5.5%
Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

I don’t drink many fruited sours, but the first that comes to mind is Île Sauvage Raspberry Sour. That’s been one of their key beers from day one and each time I’ve had it, it retains a fresher and more vibrant raspberry character than any other raspberry beer I’ve had. Often, I’ve been surprised at the creaminess of the malt body that’s there to back it up. It melds together so well.

Kudos to them — that beer is great.

Avery Barrel Aged Cucumber Hibiscus Sour

Avery Barrel Aged Cucumber Hibiscus Sour
Avery

Hector Cavazos, owner and head brewer at Rebel Toad Brewery in Corpus Christi, Texas

ABV: 7%
Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

Avery Barrel Aged Cucumber Hibiscus Sour. It’s bright in color, sour and the cucumber makes it very refreshing. It has a unique flavor profile that’s fresh bright and works together perfectly. It’s definitely a can’t miss sour beer.

Lost Abbey Red Poppy

Lost Abbey Red Poppy
Lost Abbey

Douglas Constantiner, founder and CEO of Societe Brewing in San Diego

ABV: 7%
Average Price: $17.99 for a 365ml bottle

Why This Beer?

Red Poppy from Lost Abbey. There’s an explosion of sour cherry flavor and it truly showcases the traditional style of Belgian Beer making through an American brewery that helped create this industry. Matching the cherry with the beer in a beautifully aged product. Lost Abbey makes it look easy but to achieve that sort of balance is incredibly difficult.

Lindeman’s Oude Kriek Cuvee Renee

Lindeman's Oude Kriek Cuvee Renee
Lindeman

Douglas Hasker, head brewer at Puesto Cerveceria in San Diego

ABV: 7%
Average Price: $12.99 for a 750ml bottle

Why This Beer?

Lindeman’s Oude Kriek Cuvee Renee. Not to be confused with Lindeman’s ultra-sweet dessert beers, this sour beer has a huge cherry aroma and balanced tartness with a complex wood character. Brewed in the old style of Belgium’s most famous guezeries.

Allagash Coolship Red

Allagash Coolship Red
Allagash

Mike Kelly, senior brewer at Harpoon Brewery in Boston

ABV: 5.6%
Average Price: $17.50 for a 375ml bottle

Why This Beer?

Allagash Coolship Red – I’m a huge fan of the wild program at Allagash up in Portland, Maine. Their coolship has produced some incredible beers, but my favorite so far has been Coolship Red. It is fermented and conditioned in red wine barrels, with raspberries added, and aged for over two years. The resulting beer is incredibly complex and certainly worth writing home about.

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red
New Glarus

Dan Lipke, head brewer at Clown Shoes Beer in Boston

ABV: 4%
Average Price: $10.99 for a four-pack

Why This Beer?

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red is my favorite fruited sour. This was the first beer I noticed people lining up for at the Great American Beer Festival. Unlike any other at the time, this is Wisconsin cherry distilled into a bottle. Tart, sweet, juicy, It’s world-class.

Jester King Nocturna Chrysalis

Jester King Nocturna Chrysalis
Jester King

Alex Wenner, owner of Lasting Joy Brewery in Tivoli, New York

ABV: 5.1%
Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

Jester King Brewery’s Nocturn Chrysalis is a bottle I need to get my hands on again. An insane amount of blackberries added to this wild Texas yeast fermented ale aged in barrels turn this funky beer into a purple, jammy experience that somehow tastes like the best possible version of just running through a blackberry field with your mouth open.

Cantillon Kriek

Cantillon Kriek
Cantillon

Keston Helfrich, founder and head brewer of Carolina Bauernhaus Brewery & Winery in Anderson, South Carolina

ABV: 5%
Average Price: $29 for a 750ml bottle

Why This Beer?

I have tried a lot of fruited sours over the years, but I keep coming back to the classics. Cantillon Kriek is probably my all-time favorite fruited sour. The blast of fresh cherry flavor coupled with the earthy and sour characters of a classic lambic is just fantastic.

Great Notion Blueberry Muffin

Great Notion Blueberry Muffin
Great Notion

Frank Gervasi, certified Cicerone™ and general manager at Arizona Wilderness Brewing in Phoenix

ABV: 6%
Average Price: $8.99 for a 16-ounce can

Why This Beer?

Blueberry Muffin by Great Notion. I grew up with my family making blueberry muffins at least once a week with blueberries we picked from our garden, and this beer reminds me of that. Tart with great blueberry flavor and enough breadiness/sweetness to mirror that muffin top, this is a beer that will always bring me back to my childhood.

Cascade The Vine

Cascade The Vine
Cascade

Nik Mebane, brewmaster at Wynwood Brewing in Miami

ABV: 9.73%
Average Price: $26.99 for a 750ml bottle

Why This Beer?

Anything from Cascade Brewing is great. I don’t see a whole lot of their stuff on the East Coast, but we stopped by their brewery one time when we were in Portland and loved just about everything we had there. They are definitely known for their sour beers, and they did not disappoint. It is absolutely a must-try if you like sours and haven’t had one before. One of the best is called The Vine. It’s a fruited sour made with tripel, blonde, and golden ales that are fermented using white grape juice.

3 Fonteinen Framboos

3 Fonteinen Framboos
3 Fonteinen

Matt Simpson, head brewer at Tennessee Brew Works in Nashville

ABV: 6%
Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

Framboos Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen is really difficult to beat. Ripe raspberries all day long. It’s so tart, sweet, and loaded with raspberry flavor it makes me feel like we need to open another facility to brew lambics or mixed culture beers.

Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa

Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa
Lost Abbey

Rob Day, director of marketing for Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers in Framingham, Massachusetts

ABV: 7%
Average Price: $16.99 for 375ml bottle

Why This Beer?

Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa. I am a sucker for raspberry sours and Lost Abbey always brings it. This beer starts with Lost and Found ale that is aged for a year in recently emptied wine barrels where it has raspberries added to it multiple times. It’s sour, tart, and filled with fresh, ripe raspberry flavor.

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