Picture a steaming summer day. And then imagine eyeing a cooler full of ice-cold beer your partner just ordered on your latest beer delivery. You plunge your hand into the cooler and raise up a bottle.
Wait a minute, pineapple? Apricot? What are these words doing on the label?
In a state of confusion, you think you’ve grabbed something more often associated with a girl’s night out. Maybe you have mistaken this cooler for the uh, cooler full of coolers?
Wrong on every level.
Summer is the best time to get stuck in with one of the most exciting and fun-filled categories of craft beers. We’re talking about sours.
For the uninitiated, these are beers that have a reliably fruity profile, come with a thirst-quenching tang, and leave the palate refreshed. Light and frothy like a quintessential summer holiday read, these are the beers to try when the weather is calling for a drink that is anything but heavy.
The next time you consider getting some Vancouver craft beers on your beer delivery, sours should be on your list and here are a few reasons why.
SOURS HAVE A RICH HISTORY
They aren’t a new fad. The original sour beers were fermented with wild yeasts that were naturally occurring in the air. Gueuze and Lambic beers are the forefathers of today’s crafty sours with wild names and increasingly daring flavour combinations.
If you’ve ever been to Brussels and had the joy of visiting the Cantillon Brewery, founded in 1900, you will know the joys of sour Gueuze beers, the tang of Lambic flavour, the tart cherry of Kriek.
Not to be outdone, the Germans have Gose beer with a lemony herbal profile and that classic sour tang.
Other European countries followed suit and today there are a number of craft breweries in North America that have adopted the addition of certain bacterias and yeasts to achieve modern interpretations.
Such vast potential for flavour combining makes this a category of beer worth exploring since it’s unlikely to have a dull moment anytime soon.
IT’S THE BEER TO TRY IF YOU DON’T DRINK BEER
You know those friends who think beer isn’t their thing? They are often quaffing wine and prattling on about the notes and the legs of their beverage while exhaustively swirling their stemmed glass and inhaling?
Even those folks can get on board a well-chosen sour. They may never convert to stout or a Belgian Tripel, but you can be pretty darn sure they won’t turn their nose up at these tart and fruity beverages.
Sours can have some absurd names, but they can also be quite elegant too, with some truly sophisticated flavours. Think more along the lines of herbal and floral notes for this slightly more daring end of the spectrum.
If ever you needed to keep the party going with a same-day or late-night alcohol delivery, these would be the beers that everyone could get involved with. Try a post-dinner tasting session from an ever-growing selection at Darby’s Liquor Store.
OUR PICK OF THE TARTS
Tofino – Wonders of Nature (5.5% ABV) is an excellent starter sour that doesn’t rely on fancy added fruiting. Offering a taste of traditional gauze beer in all of its tart glory, it’s a natural starting point for a sour beer journey.
Persephone – Mandarina Bavaria (6.0% ABV) should thrill the orange lovers out there. Call it the Buck’s Fizz of the beer cognoscenti.
Ile Sauvage – Sitka Sour (5.0% ABV) is one for the sophisticated. Imagine a sour with Alaskan Spruce tips added to the mix for herbal decadence.
Field House – Coconut and Lime Sorbet Sour (6.5% ABV) yes, you just read correctly. Do not adjust your glasses. This is one of a growing number of collaborations within the craft brewing community. Don’t miss out on these batches if you’re in the Vancouver area and in need of a beer delivery!
Andina – Sedosa Apricot Peach Sour (4.5% ABV) is a twist on the usual berry flavours more commonly associated with sours. The lighter alcohol content of this one keeps the caloric intake down a notch and it’s every inch summer winner.
Moody – Lavender Sour (4.9% ABV) could be one of the most elegant sours out there. Hints of lemon and lavender show how refined sour making has become.
WHAT OTHER SOUR DRINKS ARE OUT THERE?
Once you have established that you are, indeed, a sourpuss there is a whole other world of actual coolers and spirits on the market angling for your tongue-tingling dollars.
Jaw Drop – Tickling Pink Lemonade (7.0% ABV) packs a sour punch reminiscent of sour candies that will make your mouth pucker like you just saw Brad Pitt or JLo depending on your proclivity.
Provincial Spirits – Apricot Lemon Sour (6.9% ABV) is another beer-less option that offers refreshment without cloying sweetness. A grown-up cooler for the cool crowd.
The Strait & Narrow – Pear and Rhubarb (5.0% ABV) is a gin-based cocktail in a can that is locally made in B.C. If you enjoy sours, you can’t go wrong with the naturally tart rhubarb gently tempered with sweeter pear for a unique take on flavour that just works. And it works beautifully.
Sheringham – Rhubarb Gin Liqueur (25% ABV) is a locally made gin-based liqueur from Vancouver Island that will knock your socks off. Not too tart, this concoction will make a welcome change from the typical herbal and spice gin profiles for a summery alternate in your cocktail menu.
You might think that going to the sour side isn’t for you, but it’s important to point out here that there is some real range in the degree of tartness and acidity within these categories.
Trying a traditional or plain Gose or Gueuze style beer will let you know where home base is, the foundation of the sour scale if you like. From there let your palate guide you to the fruits and flavours that tickle your fancy.
Hop aboard the sour train and discover what might be the most refreshing and lively summer yet. It’s not a trend that will fizzle out and deflate in a few years. They’ve always been here, for over a hundred years.
Now is the perfect time of year to start noticing them, so pucker up!
Order from a wide range of sour craft beers or other sour-based beverages at Darby’s Liquor Store in Vancouver for the best variety on offer. Same-day and late-night alcohol delivery are always available. We have a huge range of domestic and imported beer, wine, spirits, and coolers from around the world.