This Wednesday at 7 p.m., Sanctuary Pub is hosting a sour ale event with Jordan Aberman, the sales manager at Central Waters Brewing Company in Wisconsin, and Nick Olson, a sales manager for Artisanal Imports. The two will be on hand with three special tap offerings: Exodus, Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge and La Trappe Quadrupel.
Sour ales can be sour, of course, and funky, but they can also be explosively fruity and tart with flavors of Granny Smith apples, raspberry, strawberry and cherry. They are sharp, acidic and often dry like wine. Instead of using cultured yeast strains, brewers often ferment sour ales “spontaneously” by exposing them to wild, airborne bacteria. The beer is then aged in oak barrels and infused with fruit.
Exodus is Central Waters’ first sour aged beer. According to the brewery, “This sour ale starts as a red ale, is loaded with Door County cherries inside a bourbon barrel, then inoculated with our special blend of bacteria to create a beer reminiscent of dry champagne and sour cherries.”
Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge, brewed by the Brouwerij Bockor in Bellegem, Belgium, is a Flemish sour ale with a “balance of malty sweetness and acidic sharpness,” according to the brewery. It is aged for 18 months in large oak barrels called foudres.
La Trappe Quadrupel is a Belgian-style ale brewed in the Netherlands by Brouwerij de Koningshoeven. It is, from my experience, loaded with spice and dark fruit, mahogany in color and a little taste of heaven. I won’t miss the chance to try this delicious beer on tap.