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kettle sours on cbc's website:

Sour beer may be a good choice for the beer-skeptic in your life, says Rebecca Whyman.
Sour beer may be a good choice for the beer-skeptic in your life, says Rebecca Whyman.

If beer isn't really your thing, give sour beer a try, says On The Coast's beer columnist, Rebecca Whyman.

"If you haven't yet tried a sour beer, I strongly suggest you do. There are a wide variety available locally and imported, and I have found many people who didn't think they liked beer, enjoy a sour beer.

Sour beer was a hit with beer connoisseurs  too, with 26 breweries submitting a sour for this year's B.C. Beer Awards, according to Whyman.

What makes a beer sour?

The acidity and tartness of sour beers come from lactobacillus bacteria, which can either be grown naturally on grains or added before fermentation. Whyman says sour beers are now more accessible and affordable thanks to the growing popularity of quick-souring methods.

Sour mash
This method relies on the natural amount of lactobacillus found on malted grains.
Add warm water to the grains and let them steep overnight to activate the lactobacillus. Use the grains the next day to make beer as usual.

Kettle sour
This method is becoming increasingly popular and is more reliable than the sour mash, says Whyman.
Add lactobacillus after the grains are boiled but before fermentation and the addition of hops. Leave for 48 hours before brewing as usual.

Kettle-soured beer picks

Cantus Fermus
"Main Street Brewing's winning B.C. Beer Awards sour, Checkpoint Charlie Berliner weisse, and Red Reifel Rye Saison are all kettle sours."

Powell Street Brewing's Dark Sour with cherries
"[It's] currently on tap at the tasting room, the Amarillo Sour."

R&B Brewing's Kettle Sour Export Stout
This is a limited release that just came out in private liquor stores.

Tofino Hunt & Gather kettle sour with salal berries and blackberries
This fall seasonal may still be available in a private liquor store.

Four Winds Nectarous
This B.C. Beer Awards people's choice award winner is a limited release dry-hopped kettle sour.
"If you missed it this time around, fear not, it will be back around again."


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