It’s harder to pinpoint beer trends these days, when anything not bolted down gets tossed in the fermenter. But the coalescence of kettle sours and hazy IPAs certainly have this summer looking like a peak moment for hoppy sours. I’ll limit my disparagement of kettle sours (got that out of my system last month!) and head right on into the folks that are doing combos of hoppy and tartness well. If you’re digging that August Schell Basin of Attraction—go forth.
New Belgium’s Le Terroir is one of the old-school examples that sent a lot of us down this road. It’s a dry-hopped sour ale that sees long-term aging in oak foeders, before getting dry-hopped with Amarillo and Strata, and I still remember tracking this one down in Boulder a decade back: tropical, grassy, beautifully handled throughout. Almanac Beer Co. out here in NorCal has done a bunch of “Hoppy Sour” releases, with recent takes including Strawberry Hopcake (featuring a mélange of fruits, plus Sabro, Citra and Cashmere hops) and Tropical Galaxy (a Brett-focused foeder beer with a hefty dry-hop of Galaxy). Cantillon’s Cuvee des Champions and Iris are dry-hopped classics—if you can find them. And Crooked Stave, De Garde, and Prairie have also each released a variety of hoppy + sour options as of late.
Got a hoppy-sour beer you’ve been digging? Chime in on Twitter via @RareBeerClub.