Sour In The Rye | The Bruery

303 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sour In The RyeSour In The Rye

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 303 | Ratings: 2,464
Photo of 98green
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap. It is a big punch sour for sure. But it didn't go vinegar for me. Just a ton of pucker sour. I couldn't do more than one for sure, and sours aren't my jam, but this is an excellent example from a top notch brewery

 221 characters

Photo of Marius
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared. Hazy, murky orange with a thin off-white head. Notes of grapes, vinegar, oak, subtle vanilla, rose wine, rye spiciness. Medium body, medium carbonation and a tart aftertaste.

 189 characters

Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: copper-brown with an orange hue. Very little head; only a fine lacing at the edges of the glass.

Aroma: lacto and funk. The funk resembles Elmer’s glue.

Flavor: sour and funk, on par with the aroma, although the aroma indicated that this would be more sour than actually so. Slightly spicy in the finish.

Mouthfeel: light-medium. Appropriate to style.

Overall: on the better side of many sours that I’ve tried recently, but there are better sours available, especially given this beer’s price tag, $20 / 750ml.

 534 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


The beer pours a nice, creamy head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is an interesting cloudy and pale amber that comes off as a brownish orange color. It looks pretty nice.

The smell is pretty good. The beer has a nice sour note with a moderate oak note. The other notes seem to resemble an assortment of fruits like cherry and orange with a tart note to it. It's pretty good and pleasant to smell.

The taste is pretty good. It has a nice sour note that resembles orange and cherries with a slight oak note to it and a very tiny vinegar appearance.

The feel is pretty good. It's a medium bodied beer with a smooth body and a dry finish.

Overall, it a pretty good and solid sour beer. It's interestingly balanced in its taste and smell given that it's a sour. Unlike most of the other offerings, this one is still pretty good fresh out of the brewery. Anyway, go for it since this one of their better offerings.

 928 characters

Photo of ReviewingUnderInfluence
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

If you're a fan of The Bruery's beers, chances are you'll like this. The typical Bruery over-the-top sourness, nice oaky tannins, and bit of spicy rye. Really damn good sour

 174 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.01/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a hazy peachy color ale with a nice large foamy head with limited retention and some light lacing. Aroma of lactic acid notes with quite a bit of vinegar and some oak notes is OKish. Taste is mostly dominated by loads of vinegary notes with some oak and a high-level of acid notes. Body is full for style with good carbonation. I don’t get what the fuss is with this beer. I thought it was really one-dimensional and acidity level wad too high for my liking.

 475 characters

Photo of nawpnawp
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle poured in 2016.

Pours a beautiful golden brown with half a finger of head. The smell is sweet and sour; hints of peach and farmhouse funk. It is very sour and the flavor dominates. On a hot day like today (90 F), it is perfect. There is a bit of spice in the background, but the sour yeast has completely taken over.

I would like to have one of these fresh to compare. It is definitely a solid brew, but be aware that with 3 years on it, it becomes over powering in its sourness.

 499 characters

Photo of OrangeMen
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage
~1 year since bottling date

Appearance- Pours a copper color, burnt amber with some lighter orange hues. Transparent, some slow rising carbonation bubbles. Half finger thick, off white colored head, fizzy and soapy.

Aroma- Tart cherries, bright berry fruit notes, bit of lemon / lime acidity. Bready malts, subtle spice and dry oaky earthiness. Grass and funk, clove.

Taste- Tart black cherries, moderate puckering sourness, lemon lime. Red grapes, vinous quality. Malty sweetness w/ spicy, peppery, bready rye. Dry oak and vanilla, grassy earthiness, funky yeast.

Feel- Medium to full in terms of style, substantial body. Puckering sour at times, but eventually settles down, slight drying character. Moderate carbonation.

Overall- Very good sour with a lot of complexity behind it between the malts, rye, oak, and funkiness. Black cherries are in the forefront througout, and pair exceptionally well with the vanilla character on the finish.

 961 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A- Fairly muddy appearance to the medium orange amber body. Fizzy and foamy head rises up to over a finger with pretty good retention. Small belt leaves spotty lacing.

S- One of the best non-fruit sour aromas out there. Holy hell it feels like the most underripe sour stone fruits were concentrated a thousand times and squeezed into a bottle. Apricot and sour plum with a huge punch of lactic acid. Hints of wine and wet oak.

T- The vinous sour pale grape tones come out quite a bit but the star of the show remains the lactic acid, funk and stone fruit goodness. Sour plums, apricots, apple, peaches and general underripe stone fruits. Oak tannins, vanilla degraded wood, tons of lactic and a slight bit of acetic acid.

MF- Medium bodied for the style with a very slick coating left all over the mouth. Low-medium carbonation with a silky foamy texture. Finishes very sour.

Oh boy. This beer only seems to grow into more of a masterpiece every time I drink it. Sublime sour plum, apricot and grapes coat the palate supported by wet oak and heavy acidity. Beats out a vast majority of the super limited sours out there without a doubt.

 1,140 characters

Photo of ajm5108
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper, very litte carbonation, no head. I frankly struggled to pick-up much on the aroma sans the lacto-funk you get in most sours. The oak is there if you strain but I found no rye. Taste wise it is a very clean and soft "sour" punch-in-the-face vinegar or lacto, just enough bite to give it some profile. tingly on the tongue, wood is there mostly at the finishes very clean, which could be from the rye, though i discerned no actual rye flavor. I think it's just too similar to the oak and the two merge. It is very clean and accessible, which is certainly admirable in the sour game where lots of breweries take missteps, but it is also kinda boring and indestinct. Very good for sure but not a top-class sour.

 745 characters

Photo of intransitive
2.9/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

look: Deep amber, with a frothy head that departs quickly.

smell: I don't get much of one

taste: Quite puckeringly sour, not entirely pleasant . Unripe fruit and grass. More odd than delicious.

feel: Astringent, with a burn that lingers in my throat.

overall: A strange thing. I'm someone who loves sour ales, but this one isn't doing much for me. Maybe the fruit varieties fare better? There's a chance that the novelty of this beer will become a taste that I adjust to over time... and I have another glass worth that I'll polish off while I think about that... but my initial response is mixed.

(edit: I poured that second glass, had a few sips, and poured it down the drain)

 689 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured clear amber, with a big long lasting head that deposited a coating of fine lace on a snifter glass.

Pungently sour, with lime and earthy oak.

Sourness is powerful at first, but in a mellow way, allowing tangerine and oak flavors to flower, before a long dry tart finish. Warms nicely, but lacks progression.

Surprisingly little carbonation, must have blown off in the head. The body is medium weight, with a velvety texture. It is dry, but short of leaving cotton mouth behind. Alcohol is imperceptible.

Tasted alongside several other sours, this was one of the most enjoyable, for its mellow, yet powerful sourness. One could easily consume this in a session over the course of a few hours.

 707 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.08/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into snifter. Either 2011 or 2012 vintage I think. No bottle date.

A: Pours a deep dark burnt amber color with minimal carbonation. Looks a bit like iced-tea, but with a few more bubbles. A fuzzy collar lasted most of the beer through.
S: Heavily oxidized notes dominate. This just smells old and tired. I get notes of sherry, cardboard, and caramel mixed with apple cider vinegar, figs, musty wood, and raisin. Hints of acetic acid mix with the lacto.
T: Rye spice hits first followed by notes of port wine, raisin, apple juice/vinegar, caramel and dates. There is a musty barrel quality throughout, along with a kiss of tart lactic acid. Unfortunately, there is also a bit of harsh acetic acid. Flavors overall are no longer bright, and this mostly just tastes like a caramely apple cider. It’s not an off-putting flavor necessarily, just way different than the fresh beer.
M: Medium-full body, fairly sweet overall with a touch of stickiness, low acidity but what is there is sharp, low tartness that is no longer drying. Carbonation does bubble up on my tongue, but overall it’s fairly low.
O: I’ll have to re-review with a fresher bottle, but this was definitely past its prime. Not necessary bad, just old, muddled, and rough around the edges.

 1,271 characters

Photo of ludachris
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle.

Its gorgeous amber orange hue is highlighted when held to the light. Streams of carbonation move upwards fast and relentlessly. An inch of frothy, tightly knit cream coloured head retains itself very well.

A lively, tart, saliva-inducing sourness jumps from the glass. Sour cherries dominate with green grape skins also in the forefront. As it warms I get more and more of a zingy spiciness, undoubtedly coming from the large portion of rye malt. Its oaky center is soft and rounded with little sweetness mixed in. Its level of tartness and sour cherry quality brings Rodenbach's Grand Cru to mind.

Its defining sourness becomes more vinous in character. Pinchy green grape skins bring plenty of acidity and a touch of astringency. Sour cherries are layered underneath with just a kiss of sweetness. Soft, creamy oak is a thin, all encompassing veil. Lemon juice takes over the finish with a bit of spicy rye that fleshes things out.

Its medium body is sharp, pinchy and dry; all traits that are imparted by its sourness and really help to elevate it.

This is my first offering from the Bruery I've been able to get my hands on and holy Toledo, what a beer it is. Its intense sourness is nothing like anything I've had before. I'm sure the two years it's spent in my cellar had some influence on this. With that being said, it's still able to maintain a sense of balance and roundness from beginning to end. Exceptional.

 1,442 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-2015 vintage. Duvel glass. Warmed to recommended 45F.

A: Dense, vibrant glowing sunset orange coloring is vibrant in the glass with a minimal capping that was light barley in color. Retention was short, as with most per style, with a soft mesmerizing rise of effervesce when backlighted. Clean vessel after consumption.

S: Faint sour fruitiness of cherries, musky grains with some sour green apples. The scent is lighter then expected.

T: High level of sourness for flavor, grapey-cherry is best way to describe this, but very soothing and refined. Acidic nature, very wine like, with a good sting of sourness on the swallow. Bready malts make up the body, with some sour green apple and oaky hints rounding things out. The rye contribution was very minimal at best.

M: Good mouthful, oily, slippery good depth.

O: Very smooth sourness, though a bomber may be a struggle for the novice and intermediate sour drinker. The drink itself was very refined and polished. As with most sours this comes with a hefty price tag, but worth it for the dedicated sour drinker with a good level of intensity and abv% that seems masked behind the sour nature of the drink. Acidic by nature, a bomber is still best shared for enjoyments sake. Only complaint was the rye character seemed very subtle to me which contributed little to the overall factor.

 1,347 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Kind of a dark color auburn. Tan head, thin. Impressive lace, especially for a wild ale. Nice tart aroma obscures any rye.

Taste, great base first of all, its hearty, almost thick. Lots of sourness, has a mild dark cherry and wet wood vibe to it. Nice warmth. Pretty solid stuff year to year.

 300 characters

Photo of Parmesan
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Copper color that is a little hazy, large white carbonated head. Nice lacing on glass.

Smell: Sourness, a little bit of funk, some sour fruit

Taste: Starts with a nice tartness, some fruit, including green grapes and a little green apple. Nice sourness in the finish.

Feel: Good sourness, with high carbonation.

Overall: A really awesome sour

 352 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split between a pair of snifters. Can't find a date on it, except the thing on the label that says "Famille Rue 2015". Bottle poured completely by my wife, but she says there wasn't all that much sediment.

Pours reddish amber, moderately hazy, with a medium sized head and nice, lazy carbonation. Smell is very tart, unripe apricots, not much else.

Taste is pleasantly tart (but not puckering) -- definitely apricot, maybe something green grapey, maybe a little wood, something bright and tropical in the background.

Mouthfeel is very dry, cottonmouthy. Overall, it's not the best, but it's a very good beer.

 635 characters

Photo of JGuzzle
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage. I love sours and this one is often regarded as one of the best. Finally got around to trying it. Splurged for the $20 for a bomber. The high price tag is probably the only drawback of this beer.

Tastes is awesome. A perfect sour with a perfect marriage of tart, funk, and oak. Zero "booziness" which is very impressive for a beer over 7%. An iconic brew and a must try.

 384 characters

Photo of That_Turtle
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2015 750ml bottle poured into tulip glass. Amber pour with one finger, quickly receding head leaving no trace. Vinegar and strong oak nose. Tart cherry, faint pepper, and oak flavor leaves the tongue tingling. Could have done with a bit more rye, a bit more funk. Overall, a terrific sour. Will be cellaring a few of these.

 323 characters

Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L- A beautiful clear amber with a 3/4 centimeter white head. It recedes to a thick ring with minimal lacing.
S-an almost fruity lacto smell typical of alot of sours. Made my mouth water.
T- Taste and nose are similar. Pretty standard sour. Right in my wheelhouse in terms of sourness. Medium on that front.
F- Mouthfeel is medium. Carbonation is adequate.
O- I'd buy this again in a heartbeat when I start craving a good sour.

 426 characters

Photo of Absolut
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden brown. On tap t blue palms in Hollywood.

Holden brown put with no head

Smells of sour fruit and rye

Taste is sour fruit with rye follow. Balanced and delicious.

 180 characters

Photo of peensteen
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazed golden copper, one finger of white head with some lace. Smell is funky and oaky, vinous, wood and some vanilla and fruit, cherry and lemon as well. Taste is sour with tart fruit, cherry, oak and wine, funky lemon and green apple, quite dry. Medium high carbonation, medium body. Absolutely exceptional, a lovely sour beer that is incredibly drinkable, very nicely done.

 383 characters

Photo of Bogart2930
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great sour. Darker in color but very drinkable. Enjoyed more slightly colder then recommended. Only disappointed that the bottle had to end at some point.

 154 characters

Photo of dd43
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I poured the 750ml bottle into a handful of wine glasses to share with friends. Makes for a nice presentation, for what is in many ways a special beer. Wasn't sure what to expect in appearance, but the apple cider color/opacity and minimal head foreshadowed the flavor and aroma mix to come. Really interesting mix of tart green apple and a feta cheese like funk on the nose. Refreshing and easy drinking despite how puckering the tartness can be. I enjoyed the hell out of this beer and welcome my next opportunity to try it.

 526 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sour In The Rye from The Bruery
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,464 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.