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Sour In The Rye | The Bruery

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Sour In The RyeSour In The Rye

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

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.

Added by womencantsail on 08-09-2009

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Reviews: 296 | Ratings: 2,415
Photo of nataku00
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a hazy burnt orange, reddish hues with a mostly hazy color. Minimal head quickly dissipates but plenty of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is acetic acid heavy, sour red berry, old oak, warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, brown sugar sweetness.

Taste follows nose well, hit of tart berry and cider vinegar, mellowing into spice, oak, and brown sugar sweetness. Dry finish, bit of lingering acetic acid and fruity tartness.

Medium body and heavily carbonated with fine carbonation that is very gentle on the tongue, keeping the beer very drinkable.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

This is a world class sour. I get sour, sour, and more sour, with a slight vinegar aftertaste. The vinegar is very mild, and not the taste stealing the show. The rye comes in slowly, but it's there providing a great layering. Faint lemon juice, but this is a puckering masterpiece.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of oak
Head small (2 cm), off white, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring then to nothing
Lacing none
Body medium amber, slight haze
Flavor sour and oaky with a touch of rye spicyness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation.

Wow! This is goodgoodgood! The sourness sets you up for the vanillin from the oak as well as the rye spice. Can’t drink just one! The lack of head is typical of the wild sours, at least the ones that I have had the good fortune to try, but is still detrimental to the overall enjoyment.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A natural orange juice color meets the eye with a tinge of peach. The head was foamy and tight.

The nose is tart, sour and a bit acidic with cherry and lemon juice like aromas.

Tempered sour fruit first meets the palate with citrus acidity. Oranges, lemons and a grapefruit juice flavor hold through as it finishes with oak, cream and cider.

The feel is not too tart, no pucker factor at all, with smooth thickness and drinkability.

The barrel must really even this sour out, as its not too tart, but the flavors were easily preserved.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1 pt 9. 4 fl oz bottle from Brawley's poured into an bulbous wine glass.

A - Pours a cloudy red with brown highlights. An effervescence and rapidly disappearing head.

S - Sour cherries, bread, pear, cider, vinegar.

T - Interesting first swig. Caused a mouth watering event, fairly quickly. After a few tastes, the sourness and tastes from the nose are there, but it is mixed with buttery oak and bourbon notes on the finish. You also get hints of farm funk and yeast components as it warms.

M - Average level of carbonation. The mid-swig crispness is balanced by smooth buttery finish.

O - Definitely one of the better, if not the best, sours I have tried so far. Tried it on a recommendation from Brawley's. Pricey, but worth it.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep golden color, brilliant clarity, with a whisper of off white head which recedes quickly to a ring. Almost no lacing and so-so retention.

S: Sour and a bit of funk/earthiness, lemon and grass, a healthy dose of rye bread, backed up with a touch of oak and vanilla, a little pale malt.

T: Rye up front, moderate sourness from start to finish, with a bit of funk, with lingering sour lemon warhead finish.

M: Medium-high carbonation, medium body with a touch of creaminess.

O: Tasty, but like a lot of Bruery sours, it’s both high in sourness and a bit one dimensional.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on November 1st, 2013 - Served at 45 degrees F in Bruery tulip glass.

A - Cloudy red/orange body with ~1.5" off white head.

S - Very sour, cherries, white wine

T - Tart cherries, grapes, slight oak & rye - sweet finish.

M - Champagne bubbles - lots of tingle

O - Good sour, but not my favorite from the Bruery. I think I should have kept this in the cellar a bit longer to let the tartness mellow and the other flavors develop. Prost!

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Photo of CmdrWillRiker
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

At first pour, I was a little worried. The sour smell from this beer was incredibly strong - but trust me, that ended up being a great thing. It pours much lighter than other sours I've tried, as it's a rye ale instead of a more traditional red/brown ale. Mouthfeel was (as with most sours) was relatively light with a good amount of head. Got some great lacing on the glass as well.

The taste is very sour with excellent depth - after the initial shock of just how sour this beer is, it really begins to show off. I would definitely recommend it for fans of sours, but newbies will want to stick to less-intense varieties. After having tried only one of The Bruery's other sour offerings (Tart of Darkness), I have to say that I will be on the lookout for others.

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Photo of JulioH
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


What sets this beer apart is the rye. If you have had other rye beers, and you taste this one, then you can immediately identify it.

Pours a nice reddish, brownish beer. Has very little foam forming at the top. Smells like bretts. Taste is sour, raspberries and tart fruits, and then the rye comes in strongly. It adds a dimension that reminds me of whisky.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Medium amber body, foamy off-white head that stays around as a thin layer of bubbles. Body is mostly transparent with lots of light coming through.

S- Lots of tart, sour aromas, some fruitiness including white grapes, a dash of earthy, bready rye.

T- Lots of tart flavors, lots of fruit. I get some white grapes and ever some unripened strawberry. There is a noticeable rye presence that adds a bit of earthy spice. This goes nicely with the plucking tartness. The thing that is most surprising is the juicy fruit flavors that come through.

M- Tart, lingering sour on the palate, medium carbonation, with a slight tingle.

O- A very nice sour that has a lot of tartness, a lot of juiciness and big flavor.

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Photo of mudbug
4.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From the dated 2014 edition 750 Into a Samuel Smith's perfect pint glass results in a hazy orange body with a quickly disappearing head, a few small bubbles rise and die in agony on the quiet surface. This is what I imagine battery acid to look like after its corroded itself through the center of a blood orange.
Carefully I place my proboscis near the surface and inhale, I get lemon rind, vinegar, and a faint mushroom note.
First taste causes my salivary glands to erupt in terror nearly doubling the amount of liquid in my mouth, my tongue lays flat and whimpers for mercy as the sour taste buds rise up in a jihad of conquest over the other basic taste buds . the overall effect on my morphology creates a shudder that starts at the top of my head and dislocates several vertebra. In short, something deep inside that holds all self loathing is having an orgasm of pleasure. I can do nothing but ride along and observe the conundrum of pain as pleasure.
This is what sour tastes like.
It lingers long and powerfully. No one will forget this beer-- ever.
There is rye in this? What did rye ever do to you?
A wonderful trip of a beer, worth the admission, but I think more than 750 of this in one day would lead to excruciating death by acid reflux.

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Photo of yesforbeer
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal brown. Moderate carbonation. Good for this style beer. Aromas of slightly fermented red fruits, aged malts and sourdough. After the first sip I couldn't say anything for about a minute because of how much saliva the acidity drew out. The taste started with super high acidity but gradually gave way to nice integrated malt with an amazing long finish.

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Photo of Beerlover
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this one on the last Wisconsin beer run.

A: pours a hazy apricot orange color with a slight brownish tinge, thin off white khaki head, quickly dissipating.
S: Wow. the aroma's of sourness in this beer are so strong I can almost taste it!! It makes my nostrils pucker if that is even possible. All sour fruit here.
T: Most. sour. beer...EVER! To me with sours, the more sour the better, Cuvee Jacobins being my favorite up until now, this is EXTREAMLY SOUR! As much as I love the sour in this beer I wish the rye was more pronounced but I still rate it a perfect five because of how incredible the sour is. After the first sip I waited a while, after 20 to 30 seconds this mellow sweet/sour fruit aftertaste covers your palate...then fades away, then intensifies again after about 45 seconds...this is glorious!!
M: perfect a slight tangy carbonation but not more than a low/medium. full bodied and awesome.
O.A. definitely worth ever dollar, with I had a few more bottle for the cellar and wanting to seek out more by these guys, a bit spendy but sure beats many other sours I've had for the same price or more!

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. 10/31/2013 etched into the bottle. 2014 vintage.

A: Pours a bright copper red with a fizzy white head on top. Not very much visible carbonation

S: Great souring aroma right off the bat. Can tell this is going to be a tart one. Fruits like cherry, strawberry and raspberry all come to mind.

T: Fantastic sour. Really hits you with a great tartness that lingers well into the aftertaste. Lots of fruit tones in this beer. Oak comes through on the finish complimenting the touch of rye spice.

M: Very puckering on first sip. Mild carbonation. Real nice dry finish. Something you sip on even though the alcohol is undetectable.

Overall this is an incredible sour with a great level of tartness. Hard to believe there isnt any fruit in here with how much flavor there is. Good job yeasties.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft at Bruery Pint night at Columbia Ale House. Similar to style there was very little head to speak of. Excellent smell but not quite the bang of some. Then the taste, wow, excellent. Made me pucker which was awesome and enjoyable. One of the top Sours I have had and one I would love to have again. The sour was very comparable to the Tart of Darkness which I had last night. Great beer and a must try if you like sours.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a nice deep and rich golden color with some orange hues. The brew is very clear and there is a nice half-inch white head.

Aroma starts off with nice vinegary and fruity sourness. Notes of fruit juice sweetness with mild lemon rind. There is a nice underlying sweetness that balances out some of the tartness. Nice earthy notes with some good dry wood notes.

Starts off with sharp sour notes. Citric and lemony sourness keep things interesting as a nice slight fruit juice sweetness balances things off with nice tartness. There is some nice chalky yeast notes mixed in with some mild moldy funk. Nice notes of wood compliment the funkiness. This is a surprisingly balanced sour. It is sharp and acidic but the underlying sweetness and spice balances it out. Very yummy. Mouthfeel is nice with a lower carbonation. Slightly oily and viscous with a nice smooth and dry finish.

Great sour. Not for the uninitiated but definitely not one dimensional.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great sour- nice and puckery, with lots of citrus and tart flavors, but with a slightly soft finish with a touch of creaminess- so it doesn't feel as if it's taking the enamel off of your teeth. Good long finish with just a touch of sweet citrus at the end. The most intriguing part of the beer, though, is the touch of spicy rye that intermingles with the sourness- it's definitely there as an undercurrent to the more pronounced sour flavors. The rye really adds something here and rounds the whole thing out. Very enjoyable beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of psumjl269
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is my favorite sour beer and it's not even really close. The Bruery makes three of the best sours I've ever had: this, Tart of Darkness, and Oude Tart. What sets this beer apart from all the rest is just how sour it actually is. Think jowls watering sour. I had this fresh on tap and I've had it in bottles and there was no distinguishable difference for me.

The price is high, but to me, worth it and I'd put down $20 for a 750ml anytime.

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Photo of farrago
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very frothy head, crests around one finger, almost entirely extra large bubbles so it’s gone like that, no meaningful lacing to speak of. Strong glow to the liquid, really captures light inside the glass, gauzy rust orange to yellow in color, filled with very fine, microscopic bubbles. The nose is laser like in its precision, tart lemon to orange citrus, moss, forest floor matter, white pepper, caraway seeds, mostly green apple and pear fruit, a little peach pit, needs to warm to get the most out of the rye but even then not getting much oak element, glimmer of caramel, its muscular nature keeps it loitering for some time. Medium-bodied, the sourness and overall bite activates the palate right off while here the oak brings some textural creaminess in addition to vanilla and butter notes. Even dill weed, as created by some American oak barrels. There is a certain volatility to it, like an anxious finger tapping. Again, loads of sour grapefruit, lemon, orange citrus. Rye bite, sourdough bread, dried yeast, nothing “doughy” or uncooked. Close to peaty at times, definitely earthy and evokes the “sous bois” character. Carbonation is delicate, does not distract from intentional sourness. Green apple, pear, cherry, apricot fruit, more snap and crackle than juiciness. Linear and angular finish, no soaking into the palate, zips across the tongue. Refreshingly easy to drink.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Awesome offering from the Bruery- pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with no head,retention. Nice color.

Smells lovely- tart and spicy. Definitely some funk, a little grapefruit, a little bready/rye.

Tastes very strong nice- acutely tart and spicy from the rye. They clearly used a lot of it in the mash. Some sweetness in the mix as well- a little like banana bread but that's in the background.

Mouthfeel is nice- medium body with moderate carbonation. Killer sour beer, especially if you're like me and love rye.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Tipples. Pours a nearly clear dark orange color with a one finger off white head. Sour lacto dominates the nose with some apricot, peach, and a little white vinegar. Not the peach version but still has some of those notes. Really nice. Flavor is a nice crisp sour green apple, with plenty of lacto and big acidity. Some light fruits and a hint of spice in there dancing around, and a clean dry finish. Light to medium mouthfeel with effervescent carbonation. Really awesome sour here.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a semi-clear-hazy burnt sienna color. A little tangerine tinted head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing. A decent amount of carbonation that lingers on.
Sour apples, grapes, notes of vanilla/oak, lemon zest, funky barnyard style yeastiness with a sweet and spicy feel. Touches of leather, sour citrus peel, light sour cherries and spiced cake.
Tangy barnyard funk, crispy sour apple, lemony citrus, sour grapes on the verge of vinegar, touches of toasted oak, hints of herbal spice and holiday spices. Nicely puckering!
Puckering, tart and funky with an underlying sweetness with a touch of spice and herbs. Nice carbonation, amazing acidity and finish.
An amazing blend of sour fruit, barnyard funk and spicy sweetness. If this wasn't $20, I could drink this all the time. Definately gotta grab a few more for the long haul. Intense and complex, but somehow simple and easy.

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Photo of ajmitch4
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 Edition poured into a tulip glass.
A caramel-colored pour and off-white head. Lighter look than a brown sour or Flanders.
Hints of oak, alcohol and acid flavors in the smell.
Tart up front followed quickly by the spicyness of the rye. Unique and intriguing for me to have the rye tastes in a sour - nice little twist.
Light-medium bodied and the tingly carbonation you look for to compliment a sour beer.
Wondering what one of these would taste like if aged for a year or two but satisfied nonetheless. Also hoping to get the chance at some point to try a sour in the rye with peaches or other fruit as that might be where it lacks in the taste.

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Photo of papat444
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at EBF 2014.

Another case of a beer not being on my radar (in this case, was looking for Bottleworks XII but alas). Mouth puckeringly tart with lots of oak and strong white wine presence. Very tannic with an acidity that feels right at home. Quite the surprise.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review from over a year after original straight 4.25 rating (6/2015):
Beer pours a fuzzy light copper, a bit darker than I expected. Fluffy white head rings the edges with decent thickness. Nose has a lime-like tartness to it, mainly. There's a somewhat unexpected Sprite-like feel I get from the nose as well, strangely. There's also a hint of what I get in some Oud Bruins; I want to say it's a tart plum scent, but there's some very light dark fruit note (*maybe* prune).

Taste is lemony tart to start with. This flavor lasts throughout. From a sour point of view, a bit of funk joins the party mid-taste, bringing with it a bit of chew to the feel as well. The overall feel, though, is fairly smooth, ignoring the draw on the palate caused by the sour notes. The sour pretty much dominates, but individual notes within it seem to me to be mainly citrus, but I also get some sour apple, and in some sips, maybe something more like unripe nectarine. At the end of the taste, I get a hint of that same unripe dark fruit I got in the smell.

A fine sour, but it definitely needs some warmth to brings out some of the nuances. I still wished there was a little more complexity or depth to the flavors to take this up to the next notch.

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Sour In The Rye from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.