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Sour and Soul: Rare Sour Beers at the AleHouse

The lighting in the AleHouse might be a bit dark and brooding, but there was a lot of pep in the brew lineup tonight at the Sour and Soul event – hard to find sour ales, all in the same pub, ready to make you pucker and squint. Tonight our draughts included sours from Golden Road and Bruery, from Ryes to Berliner Weisses. AleHouse wasn’t offering flights, so after a quick lesson on the sour line up by the bar staff, we grabbed a couple 8oz. or 10oz. pours.

Our first taste was of the Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge, a true old lambic. A type of red in hue, burgundy almost, it almost remind you of cherry. Which is appropriate, since the taste is reminiscent of sour cherry, fruity and seriously tart. With a prickly feel as it goes down and almost no bitterness, this is a fun brew to enjoy with a creamy dessert.

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Second was the Firestone Walker Agrestic, a pleasant change from the fruity sour we previously tasted. This almost savory sour brew has been aged in barrels giving it sweet notes of vanilla and a bit of coconut, finishing with a tartness. A truly sensational experience. It reminded me of a sour version of Fall River’s Abbott’s Reserve.

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Last was Bruery’s Sour in the Rye and was definitely a favorite among the group. A super complex and exceptionally well balanced sour with 3 stages of taste as it goes down. Fruity in the beginning turning to sweet and ending with a full tartness, definitely unexpected while having scents of pepper and cloves. This hazy brew has secured my vote for sour brews.

Certainly a new and interesting experience, Ale House’s Sour and Soul event brings a unique and creative twist to Redding Beer Week. And since these are all rare sours, participants get to feel exclusive and validated in their sour snobbery.

 

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