Sour Beers Put Smiles on US Brewers' Mugs

A lambic gueuze.   (©Bernt Rostad)
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(Newser) – The ever-adventurous US microbrewing community has embraced a new flavor, the Los Angeles Times reports, and it’s sour. Brewers are taking a page from the Belgian playbook and turning out tart lambics and gueuzes aged in oak barrels. “Sour beers are our connection to the ancient history of beer,” one aficionado says. “Someone was drinking a similar beverage dating back to the 6th millennium BC.”

One brewer, referring to the practice of allowing free-floating bacteria to ferment the “wort,” praises “the acidity, the aftertaste, and the mystique in the way it’s produced. It’s the romanticism of beer being brewed in an open barn with crazy wild yeast.” One Maine brewery installed the necessary equipment, called a “cool ship.” “Granted, it made no financial sense,” the brewer said. “But we figured why not?”