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Everything You Need To Know About The Hottest Style Of Beer Right Now

Sour beers, explained.

There’s a flavour zone in beer that’s everywhere these days: acid. Thank increasingly popular sour beers. For centuries, brewers worked to scrub out souring acids from their breweries and yeasts, and this flavour nearly disappeared. That is, until North American craft brewers delved into historic sour beer styles and discovered ways to make them at home, using home-grown ingredients. These beers, which are tart and often fruity—think kombucha or kefir—are becoming mainstream. But they’re not all the same—so here’s a guide to help you discover the new wave of North American sours:

First off, let’s recap—what is a sour beer?

Traditional beers are fermented with yeast. Sour beers are fermented with yeast, but ALSO soured with a sour bacteria, usually lactobacillus—which is the same thing that sours your yogurt. The result is a very tart flavour that can be as aggressive as sucking on a lemon, or be a bit more balanced, like the sweet-and-sour interplay of a Sour Key candy.

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