I happen to like sour beers. A lot, in fact. They're like a petty addiction. One of the first I had was at a dinner at Pizzeria Basta in Boulder, CO. It was a pairing in cohoots with The Bruery, and the beer they chose to bring was one I had wanted to try for awhile - Sans Pagaie. Great frickin beer. It got me hooked. But once again, if your trying it for your first time - just give it a few sips. The first might knock you on your *ss, and make you never want to go near one again, but be patient. By your third sip into it, you begin to get it, and a whole new world of complex flavor opens up. I promise. Or maybe I'm just trying to trick you - either way there's only one way to find out.
So, upon a trip to Portland, Or., I simply had to run by Cascade Brewing - specifically the Barrel House. They are known for their sours, but produce other fantastic beers as well. Take a look at their collection here:
The Cascade Brewing Barrel House is pretty cool. Nice and open. Staff knows their stuff, and I hear the food's great too, but I can't vouch for that because I didn't eat any. A big plus is that they list beer pairings with their dishes, which I am into big time. Maybe next time...
Honey Ginger Lime - Cascade Brewing
We tasted a number of beers here, all of which were excellent. Saison de la Maison, Sang Noir (wow, excellent), and a few others, but the last was such a pleasant surprise I just feel like writing about it. Honey Ginger Lime. Cascade calls it a "sour honey rye ale was barrel aged for 8 months before aging additionally on ginger and lime zest". 7.5% ABV
This beer pours very hazy, with deep gold color with some orange to it. Nice head - over an inch or so (forgot the damned tape measure) - with great retention.
On the nose, pretty much lives up to it's name - strong ginger and citrus, with a limeade feel to it - Almost more like a cocktail than a beer.
Taste damn near borders on refreshing and thirst quenching. Strong sour notes hit the back of the palate immediately, but give way to spicy ginger characteristics, and a mild sweetness to counter the harsh sour. Seriously bright and refreshing -
Wow - Don't have anything to compare it to, but REALLY good. Great Spring/Summer beer, and just plain drinkable.