In case you’re not deep into the national craft beer scene (mustache not required btw), you should know sour beers have been having a big moment. They once took a backseat to the insane amount of IPAs and Stouts on the market, but the hoppy tides have shifted. Sour beers are carving out a corner for themselves.
What makes a sour beer a sour beer isn’t well defined. A wide range of styles and brewing techniques can end up with a sour flavor. And no, sour doesn’t mean skunked, but it can include various fermentation, methods, and yeasts that don’t typically make it into beer. The result is a range of flavors and acidity that up until a few years back were pretty unknown to your standard American palette. That makes sour beers appealing to both longtime beer drinkers looking for something new and people who traditionally haven’t liked available beers.
So what’s all the hype about? Well, sour beers typically showcase a range of fruity flavors without the overwhelming sweetness. They bring the effervescence of champagne to a whole world of flavors from apricots, blackberries, peppercorns, oak, and, of course, hops. Ranging from crowd-pleasers to adventurous new attempts, sour beers have something for everyone.
All that hype means sour beer is in heavy demand, but it’s a risky process for brewers. Bacteria from a sour batch could easily contaminate a non-sour batch. Some breweries even invest in totally separate sour brewing equipment. So when a brewery makes a sour beer, know that they’re putting in extra care and attention to the process. Every sour beer is made with love or at least a very thorough tank cleaning.
This weekend’s YOURS, MINE, AND SOURS event at Reaver Beach Brewing in Norfolk is going to be a fantastic showcase of sour beers. If you’re new to sour beers or a veteran of the sour game, you’ll get to experience a wide range of palate-pleasing sour flavors. Sour goses, IPAs, and saisons, and more are on the lineup from several of the region’s brewing powerhouses. Smartmouth, Benchtop, Bold Mariner, Elation, Cova, Rip Rap, and Richmond’s Final Gravity will have exclusive collab sour beers onsite. Oozlefinch, Maker’s, and Triple Crossing will be on the guest Taps.
Alongside a smorgasbord of sour beers, there is a vendor market packed with small businesses. Twelve shops will be set up and ready for your sour-fueled shopping including Velvet Witch, Nerd Gasmatron, and Take It & Sleeve It. The Sand Tones and Nate Sacks will be doling out the tunes throughout the day. And when those hunger pangs hit, Not Your Routine Poutine will be onsite to get you fed.
Pucker up, grab a ticket, and explore the world of sours this Saturday at Reaver Beach.
Saturday, November 13th
Reaver Beach Brewing (3800 Colley Avenue Norfolk, VA 23508)
1:00 – 5:00 pm
Paul Stetson Rice
Paul is the creator of NFKVA.com. He was born and raised in Norfolk, graduated from Virginia Tech, and narrowly avoided law school. Chat with him about economics, entrepreneurship, hip-hop, and hiking. When he's not working on five different projects, you'll catch him sharing a beer with friends at a local brewery.