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Sour In The Rye - The Bruery

Sour In The RyeSour In The Rye

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1,356 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1356
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.6%

Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
We brewed this ale with around 40% rye as a base malt and let our sour yeast and bacteria eat away at it in oak barrels for over a year creating a sour ale with a complex character of rye spice, oak and a subtle funk.

(Beer added by: womencantsail on 08-09-2009)
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Ratings: 1,356 | Reviews: 224 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mtomlins

Ontario (Canada)

4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle (2013 vintage) into a stemmed tulip glass and shared with a coupe friends.

A golden body with a beautiful reddish hue, massive lacing. A massive nose that is dry, spicy with lots of acidic citrus and a massive tart/sour aroma, slightly sweet. The palate is sour and acidic; a bit salty. The rye keeps the malt dry and spicy, the sweetness in the nose is absent on the palate. Not much oak. It finishes long and tart. Medium body and carbonation. Wow, a really nice brew; super tight.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 12:59:24 | More by mtomlins
Photo of KVNBGRY


4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle

Appearance - Slight haze on an otherwise brilliant golden body. Quickly receding white head, leaves continuous spotty lacing.

Aroma - Vanilla, brett, pear, cider, artificial sweetener

Taste - Sour acidity, oaky vanilla, slight rye spice, hint of leather

Mouthfeel - Puckering, drying, mouthcoating. Perfect carbonation. Enamel, and stomach lining ripping sourness. Light -> medium bodied.

Overall - Sour, barrel aged perfection. Vicious, sour, in your face awesomeness! Not for the faint of heart.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 01:54:41 | More by KVNBGRY
Photo of dirtylou


4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle, split

Really nice looking beer - apricot body, nice light carbonation. Extremely sour - prickly tartness, lemon zest, layers of citrus, funky yeast, nice barrel notes, peach, lime. A very impressive american wild ale - worth the high price tag unlike some of the other bruery disasters (tart of darkness - BLEH)

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 19:45:48 | More by dirtylou
Photo of AgentMunky


4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tasting glass at Buzz in LA. From notes. Reviewed 23 February 2013.

A: Hazy clear.

S: Wonderfully tart. Brett and wild yeast. Raspberries and lemon peel. Acidic.

T: Delicious. Like Rodenbach Grand Cru with more fresh cherry and raspberry.

M: Dry and puckery. Great yeast. Sour and lightly spicy.

O: I love it. Highly recommended. Will have again. Very competent and enjoyable example of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2013 05:53:24 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sour in the Rye might just as well be called 'Cloudy in the Rye'; oak aging alters a beer's appearance as well as its flavour, stripping the complexion of much its luster and leaving it muddied, flat, and, in the case of this honey-coloured ale, rather drab.

A year in the barrel is bound to make any ale smell a little musty, but the oak surprisingly doesn't contribute any glaringly obvious qualities. The aroma has somewhat of woody, vanillin tinge but it's awfully difficult to appreciate amidst such a sour, dank, fruity lactic funk.

The flavour is a tangy, prickly, pleasantly puckering blend of citrus fruits, cherries in balsamic vinegar, and apricot or pear compote. There's the presence of heartier whole grains but little malty flavour can be appreciated due to the abundance of vinegar-like lactic tang.

The mouthfeel has the both the acidity and sourness of lemonade (without the sweetness of course) as well as an agreeable sour gummy-like characteristic - it's liquid candy for adults. And despite the 7.8% alcohol it drinks as easily as (soured, festering) fruit juice.

If you think about it, actual fruits are typically somewhat tart as well as sweet; this is true, to varying degrees, of apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, plums, currants, etc. American Wild Ales like Sour in the Rye simulate the fruits of Mother Nature's labours (pun intended) and, using another wonder of nature (wild yeast), simply amp up the tart part. What a treat!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 03:14:26 | More by biegaman
Photo of BEERchitect


4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very few beers strike the palate with the perfect complement of sour, earth, fruit and spice. But its good news that one such beer is made in California and I'm fortunate enough to taste a sip from now and then.

Its turbulent pour leads to a quick separation of hazt golden-orange beer to anchor and a frothy and airy eggshell-white foam.Its retention is strong as is its intricate lacing patterns.

Piercing sharpness reaches the nose with lime, white wine vinegar, sour grapes and crab apples. As its mere scent locks up the jowls, other musty wood, cork, sweaty, cellar and sea air scents waft about to deliver savory and earhty impressions heading into taste.

Its raw earthiness is spicy and rustic as the rye grains complement a dry, lighlty toasted crouton taste, but with all that acidity building above. Just into the taste, the lime, apple skin and sour grape flavor takes hold and easily topples its early malt complement. Quickly developing into dries lemons, limes, apple and spiced pear, its the sourness of apple cider vinegar and light must that stems from the clean lactic sourness that finishes its taste.

Only a whisper of attic wood and lime extend, even though the ale starts out light and obviously acidic. As the malt support fades, the ale prances on with wine-like balances and textures, until a quick finish is mineral-rich and with earthen spice.

The taste of rye and sour is a challenging attempt as both types are highly polarizing and not widespread just yet. But its added complexity is undeniable taste that's salty, briney and deeply earthen.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 06:55:20 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter.

Pours out a really nice deep orange bordering on almost red, fairly clear body. Big 3-4 fingers of fizzy off white head off of the pour quickly receeds to a thick ring and eventually nothing.

Nice musty funk aroma, but a bit one dimensional in that aspect. Also shows some lemon citrus and sour cherry as it warms.

Musty basement, big lemon citrus sourness, sour pie cherry. Some wine like flavors, maybe a result of the barrel it was aged in or just the higher ABV that I'm tasting. Just a tinge of sweet malty, almost meaty character like you would find in a Flanders red, but I'd say this has way more in common with a gueze or lambic. Little to no rye found here.

A very sour beer, mouth puckering sour, really lingers on the palate. Medium to light in body with a somewhat aggressive carbonation.

Somewhat of a one dimensional sour, has everything you would expect in a good sour, but lacks any extra complexity. Still top notch and worthy of a bottle for the cellar, still another well made beer from the bruery.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 18:45:44 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of rand


4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From tap to Duvel tulip glass

Copied from my Sour in the Rye with Cumquats, with relative edits

A: Orange-mahogany in color, its effervescent head quickly dissipates.

S: Tart, vinegary aspects anchor the bouquet. Notes of unripe cherry linger. The brew is sour enough to tighten your glands before it hits your palate.

T: Puckering sour at the front, refreshing with lemony vinegar notes. Oak and unripe berries pop up mid sip, with a touch of lingering sweetness toward a short, clean finish. Alcohol is almost completely masked.

M: Light bodied and effervescent, especially considering the ABV.

Almost identical to the Sour with Cumquats, without the citrusy twist. No discernible difference between tap and bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2013 02:42:31 | More by rand
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Purchased this as a birthday treat for myself. Finally getting around to it. Beer pours a dark gold amber with a lively white head that fades to a full collar. Strong notes of vanilla in the nose. Plenty of sour acid as well. A touch of sour apples too.

Tastes very fruity with plenty of apples and pear. The sourness is very apparent and strong with acetic acid. Very little if any rye impact. A touch of sweetness on the end with maybe some sour cherry. Mouthfeel is on the lighter sid of medium with lively carbonation that seems to increase the impact of the sourness. A truly wild sour ale with the acid overtaking some of the subtleties.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 20:15:54 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of superspak


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 2013. Pours lightly hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big sour cherry, green apple, pear, clove, pepper, oak, vinegar, hay, straw, funk, red wine, leather, bread, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with great complexity and balance of tart fruity/spicy/funky lacto with wine barrel notes; and great strength. Taste of big sour cherry, green apple, pear, clove, pepper, oak, hay, straw, vinegar, red wine, leather, bread, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of fruity sourness on the finish; with lingering notes of sour cherry, green apple, pear, clove, pepper, oak, vinegar, hay, straw, red wine, leather, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of sour fruity/funky lacto, wine barrel, and malt flavors; with a great malt/acidity balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a crisp, smooth, and moderately acidic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an insane wild ale! All around fantastic complexity and balance of sour fruity/funky lacto with balanced malt and wine barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on with the balanced acidity. An amazing offering.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 05:55:48 | More by superspak
Photo of deschutes_fan


4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2012 Bottle

- Pours a hazy harvest orange/brown.

- Smell is really strong sour tart with some dry wheat/grain aromas.

- Taste is monster lemon sour warhead in your face followed by even more sour with the vinegar acidity. Decent complexity with the subtle oak and spicy rye notes on the finish that leave a dry palate.

- Overall an insane beer. Way over the top sour, I would say most sour beer I've had and I've had many (still waiting to try Tart of Darkness). But also a fun beer to drink, not muddled or confused, straight to the point. I could see aging potential here, maybe several years to allow the sourness to integrate into the rye and oak.

Definitely a beer to share with a friend or 2, trying to guzzle down 25.7oz of this may seriously lower your body's pH level ;-)

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 22:02:50 | More by deschutes_fan
Photo of dwren89


4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: orangey amber with thin off white head and cloudy

Aroma: sour, lactic notes and spicy rye character evident, cherry, vanilla

Taste: vanilla and oaky at first but then cherry flavor comes thru and finishes pleasantly bitter finish

Mouthfeel: thick and full but the sourness cuts the mouth feel to make it a little more drinkable

Overall: great beer! Just like how they do it in Belgium. Great cherry and sour notes that are made more complex by the oaky/vanilla notes. Spicy rye malt kicks up the flavor more than wheat does in many Belgian sours.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2013 13:51:54 | More by dwren89
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Slight white head over deep amber liquid, almost brown.

S: Lacto, pears, citrus and grass.

T: Apples, lacto, pears, lemon, spice, and oak.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of carbonation. Very tart.

O: Beautiful. A great sour that I would drink again in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 02:26:48 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of tectactoe


4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jeff for splitting his bottle. Now that this is available in Michigan, I can decide whether or not it's worth dropping 17-18$ on a few bottles for myself. Super clear and clean amber body with a fuzzy and fizzling, off-white cap. The head sparks up like foam from a soda and is gone in just a few moments. I've gotta say... I wasn't expecting this kind of clarity from a wild ale, but it looks really nice.

Whew... crazy tart aroma. The kind of aroma that stings your nostrils and gets jettisoned into your brain cells, sending your saliva glands into sprinkler mode. Lots and lots of vinegar, lactic acid and wet oak, accompanied by lighter fruit reminders like lemon flesh, peels, and wet cherry skins. Tannins abound with some woody dryness at the end. This is going to be tart... I just know it.

First sip causes immediate puckering of the lips, cheeks touching, glands sweating, etc... Super tart up-front, no holds barred type of shit here. Wincing white wine vinegar, soaked oak, acidic and lactic acid, prompt stone fruit skins, a touch of lemon juice, and the most faint appearance of dry rye in the finish. Perhaps my senses are tricking me with the rye dryness... it could be a quality of the oak-aging as well.

Sour in the Rye is a sourheads dream, but be warned - while there is plentiful vinous presence here, white grapes, oak, and the like, the vinegar aspect outweighs it by quite a bit. I know many sour fans who aren't too keen on the heavy "vinegar" flavors, but luckily - I am, and so Sour in the Rye floats almost every boat that I have. Thin, wet, crispy and sharp mouth feel with a gum line receding dryness in the finish.

Very awesome stuff, if you're into puckeringly sour and vinegar-laden wild ales. This brew isn't for everyone, but it's certainly for me. Although it's sometimes hard to justify spending nearly 20$ for a bottle of beer, I think I can easily make a case in my mind to keep a few bottles of Sour in the Rye stocked at all times, when I'm in the mood for something white wine-y and sour.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 18:58:05 | More by tectactoe
Photo of brewskifan55


3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Opaque amber. Not much head. Minimal lacing.

S: Citrus, lemons

T: Tart, sour, sweet. Light malts with a backdrop of Belgian yeast. A dry finish. Lemons come through with a flourish. A dandy Sweet/Tart confection treat.

M: Light to medium with medium carbonation.

T: The perfect summer treat. Sip and be soured.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2013 17:38:08 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a hazy brownish orange with a small (1-2 finger) off white fizzy head that receded down to a very small collar with super light spotty lacing.

The aroma was of grain and bread malts and a funky cheesy yeast with a note of fruit (apple, cherry and apricot), a light spiciness, a mild vinous scent, a hint of oak and a definite tartness.

The taste started off sour and acetic with a light wine presence which lasted throughout with the finish mellowing slightly, having a mildly sweet fruity taste along with a light spiciness towards the end. The flavor lasted a good long time following the swallow, with the bold sourness giving way to a mildly sweet-tart fruity taste that lingered on the taste buds for a while longer.

Mouthfeel was a few steps above light in body and dry in texture with a solid medium carbonation.

Overall this was a very tasty and enjoyable brew that possessed a nice tart flavor which blended so well with the fruity spicy taste, that it allowed for a smooth and easy drinkability. I have to say that there is no surprise here, just another exceptional beer from this brewer...


Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 17:06:55 | More by KajII
Photo of Gsantollo

New Jersey

4.81/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The Sour that started it all!!!! For me at least. This is the beer that opened my eyes and has made me want to try all the sours in the world. I have travel the sour world around and still have no problem paying through the nose for this one. It's always a good night with one of these guys.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2013 22:02:02 | More by Gsantollo
Photo of clayrock81


4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured an almost light brown with one finger tan head that died quick without much lace on top of an aroma that has a touch of sweet or tropicalesque fruit but also a large sour and tartness to it (want to say cherry b/c that's first thing that comes to mind). Medium bodied, not chewey but a little filling, the rye helps smooth out as well, this beer has a crisp feel and dry finish that perfectly complements and balance the sourness of the beer, and the spiciness and very mild sweetness of the beer helps round it out. A complex brew that I can't really get a handle on but know I like and a great beer for all to try.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2013 14:54:28 | More by clayrock81
Photo of mattbk

New York

4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy, just on the border between amber and brown, slow moving bubbles.
S: An amazing aroma. Sour yes, but there's tons of fruit and complexity, pear, golden raisin, pineapple, wonderful. Maybe the slightest vinegar, but I'm very much looking for that and it may be a figment.
T: Certainly puckering, but again, some very nice complexity. There's some dark fruit here, very subtle, and even some pineapple . No vinegar I can detect. Cherries. The rye flavor is very subtle, just an underlying spiciness that you might not know was there if it didn't say so on the bottle. Slight amount of oak character as well. It is very high on the acidity scale, and that makes it less sessionable. This beer, with the high amount of sour and the overwhelming complexity, is not a beer you can drink many of. Still, I love this beer. It's wonderful.
M: I very much like the mouthfeel on this beer, it is certainly dry, but a bit of protein-y fullness. It is quite carbonated.
O: I wish this beer turned down the acidity just a tad - to let all the subtle notes come out a bit more. I think there could even be some malt sweetness underlying, but that's hard to get as well. But, it is very good. Give this to someone that appreciates good beer and wine for that matter. They will enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 01:03:01 | More by mattbk
Photo of DaveBlack


4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful, clear dark copper beer. Very little head with zero retention.

S: Very sour smelling, a little bit earthy with a nice hit of the spicy rye. A nice smelling beer.

T: Sour and acidic to be sure. The sourness hits right up front, with cherry and lemon pith. Some earthy funk behind it. The rye doesn't really come through until the finish, where it really breaks the sourness and adds a spiciness.

M: Moderate body, really heavy on the carbonation.

O: Not the type of beer I would want to drink every day, but damn tasty. The sourness is up front and potent. The rye is awesome as a balance to the sourness, it adds a spice that cuts right through.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 20:46:37 | More by DaveBlack
Photo of elNopalero


4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to the couple with the bottle of this for the generous pour! Sometimes you gotta just love beer geeks!

This pours a hazy caramel-amber with thin foam. There’s a sharply tart and sour touch of funk, with a hint of wet hay backing it up. Tastes zesty, spicy and vibrant—I know that’s not a flavor description per se but that was what ran through my mind while sipping. This beer definitely lives up to its name as it finishes sour, tart, acidic with a dry end. Wow.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 18:44:53 | More by elNopalero
Photo of ckollias


4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed this bottled brew out a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a cloudy orangish hue with a thin white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a decent trail.

S: Extremely sour and tart aroma.

T: Similar to the smell there is an extremely tart and sour flavor.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Amazing sour brew!

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 15:53:01 | More by ckollias
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured a burnt orange color with good carbonation yielding a dirty cap. A good amount of bubbles, some light lacing presents itself.

S: Not really funky per se but the rye really pops on this. A nice little booze sting on the nose with some acidity, wood

T: Pretty tart upfront, a nice like lacto lockjaw feel, lots of rye follows providing a unique contrast of sour and spice. The heat picks up, wood and vanilla provide yet another contrast as it becomes a little sweet for a moment.

M: Medium bodied, carbonated well for the style. Plenty of flavor and tartness.

O: Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 19:25:42 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of ADZA


4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear mandarin hue with one finger head and some subtle lacing here and there,the smell is mandarins,spicy rye,slight oak,tangerine and an ever present woodiness usually only smelt in fine wines,the mouthfeel is light bodied and a touch spritzy but spot on and the tastes are mouth puckering sour with hints of tangerine,mandarin,a slight hit of spicy rye,cheddar and finished with a nice hit of oak and sour citrus and overall it's a beauty of a beer that I would definitely drink again and be nice to age to bring out more of the oak quality and this delicately tasted quite fresh cheers.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 06:44:27 | More by ADZA
Photo of Chriscrundwell12


4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a 3 Fonteinen Wine glass

A- Pours a nice dark copper color, very clear, lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom almost champaign like. 2 Finger white head that dissipates to a nice white ring around the glass. Lots of Lacing as well.
S- The aroma is sour acidity right away, sour lemon, sour apple, funky.
T- Taste is very nice, allot more in your face then the aroma. Nice and puckering right away. The acidity is there but not overpowering, slight sweetness as well, sour lemon, apple, nice fruity notes, sweet and sour love it.
M- Light mouthfeel, really easy drinkability, clean finish, well carbonated.
O- Really impressed with this sour. Haven't had too many of The Bruery's sour beers, this one did everything i was hoping it would. Refreshing, sour, cant taste the alcohol at all. Glad i have this bottle to myself.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 03:43:20 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Sour In The Rye from The Bruery
95 out of 100 based on 1,356 ratings.