Bel Air Sour
Brooklyn Brewery

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Style:
American Wild Ale
Ranked #1,433
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
88
Ranked #13,316
Avg:
3.91 | pDev: 9.21%
Reviews:
92
Ratings:
362
From:
Brooklyn Brewery
 
New York, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  13
Gots
  100
SCORE
88
Very Good
Notes: Available in two versions, one is 5.8% ABV, the other 4.5%.

Lead by our James Beard Award-winning Brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, our brewers put their collective minds together to conjure up one tasty magic trick—a thrilling jolt of tartness up front opens onto a riot of tropical fruit, courtesy of our lacto, our ale yeast, and a generous helping of Amarillo dry-hopping. Soft barley and wheat malts keep things dry and refreshing, and the whole thing comes together to close with a fine dry finish. Brooklyn Bel Air Sour is racy and maybe even a little bit dangerous, but also effortlessly cool, breezy, and undeniably compelling.

Malts: American 2-row, Pale Wheat malt
Additions: Lactobacillus
Hops: Challenger, Perle, Mosaic, Amarillo
Yeast: Our House Ale Yeast
Original Gravity: 13° Plato
Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 362 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.44/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, best by May 2020. Came as a high recommendation from a fellow at a beer shop in Branson, MO.
Full Sail pint glass.

Heavy hazy blonde with a creamy fingernail of head that recedes quickly to nothing.

Aroma of lemon candy, urinal cake, citrus cleaning supplies, and bready malt.

Flavor is lemon soap and lemon candy. Some heavy pithy grapefruit as well. The sour element is not intense but it's there. A bit puckering but not over the top. About like a Berliner Weiss. Flavors do thicken up a bit after a few sips, and I get more of a lemon ice thing.

Feel is crisp and heavily carbonated, not much else to it, it's very light bodied and effervescent.

Overall for sure won't be returning to this one, but there's nothing blatantly wrong with it - just majorly uninteresting.

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Photo of KRug
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Best by 6/20, this is the 5.8% version

Pours a pale gold with a finger and a half of white head that reduces to a film

Mild lacto funk in the aroma, I get tropical fruits, a cracker crispness, and subtle hops

More of that tropical fruit bouquet on the mid palate, with the hops and an awesome dry wheat character to finish it off with just the slightest amount of sour bite

The feel and finish on this really make it, crisp from the wheat and the lacto, it’s super refreshing. Finishes a bit sticky for the style but I can’t really complain about it

This is not very tart, but has a pretty good level of sour that works with the flavors presented here, really good stuff

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Wow! Slightly hazy golden color. Large floating particulate matter. Lively carbonation. Foamy two and a half finger head sizzling down into the beer.

Smell is citrus. Picking up some tart sour smells. Underlying hints of hops. Also getting bready malts.

Tart lemon like citrus.Really not getting any hops on the taste like I picked some up on the smell. Taste is more on the white bread malt side with the tart and sour citrus on the side. I was really thinking this would be a bit more tart on the flavor.

Mouth feel is fairly light. That carbonation and the tartness of the citrus in the back seem to sizzle more in the back of the mouth than up front.

Overall I have to say this beer excited me with its appearance and smell. The taste is very good but not what I was expecting from the look and smell. Kind of a catch 22. The beer is good just slightly confusing to me. I don't know how to put it but in the overall this beer, for me mind you, just seemed like one of those beers that makes me scratch my head.

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Photo of Fjolltzu
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure if they changed the recipe or if my palate developed. I used to get alot of citrus, fruit and Biscuityness both on the nose and taste. Now however I get alot of milk chocolate, YES MILK CHOCOLATE I started noticing this a few months ago. It smells like milk chocolate Easter eggs or something. Very foamy mouth feel, high carbonation, decent sourness. Idk man I feel like something changed and I don't find myself getting it as often.

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Photo of EMV
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip. Ugliest bottle art/color palate I've seen in awhile.

L: Crystal clear light golden pour with 2 fingers of fizzy white head. Falls fast... decent lacing.

S: Tart and fruity. Lemon citrus.

T.F: Tart lemon citrus and unripened summer fruit. Green apple skin and a bit of funk. Light and crisp... well carbonated.

O: A complex and flavorful little sour. Tart without much of a pucker... easy drinking and refreshing.

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Photo of Nofoba
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy, lime yellow body, with lots of visible carbonation that lasts. Thick, soapy, white head with excellent retention and a nice amount of lacing.

It has a mild aroma of citrus, apricot, coriander and salt.

The taste is mild, with citrus, herbs, salt and wheat. The finish is dry. The mouthfeel is light to medium-bodied and pleasantly sour, with medium carbonation.

A refreshing sour beer, but perhaps a little mild in taste.

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Photo of SmashAdams
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was really impressed with this beer. Brooklyn definitely makes really well crafted beer and this is no exception. There is a lot of complexity and fruit flavors coming through here and I was surprised to find out there are no fruit additions. The level of tartness is spot on and it's refreshing and light while still complex and rewarding. All things considered it's basically a perfect beer. yb

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Photo of IronLover
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark, bright yellow in color with a heavy haze that slowly clarified as this warmed. Poured with a moderate, soapy, bright white foam with medium low retention. Aromas of sour gummy candy and light malt. Medium light bodied with even, medium high carbonation. Light mart and candy like tart flavors that lingered through the dry finish. Light and refreshing and pleasantly sour.

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Photo of Shanex
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Guinness Pint glass, pouring a hazy golden color, with about a two inches white head.

Smells: sourness, lemon and grapefruit.

Taste following the nose, the notes of grapefruit and lemon and overwhelming, quite bitter and sour. Nice dry finish on the palate.

Overall: this is a very good American Wild Ale and the sourness/bitterness combination makes it pleasant to drink. I rarely drink sours, not because I don’t care for them but there are far and few as a style here. Worth it, cheers!

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Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a one finger head; decent retention and spotty lace

Smell: Lactic sourness with strong grapefruit and lemon aromatics

Taste: Lactic grapefruit with growing lemon pith tones; quite bitter and sour, through the middle, with a dry finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Most of the time, I don't particularly care for the combination of bitter and sour flavors and, while I have had a few beers that challenge that view, this isn't one of them

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Photo of Calarice
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm not big on sours but this was pleasant. Grapefruit flavor complements sour tartness well. I would get this again. Good introduction beer to sours.

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Photo of Lucular
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5 oz pour on tap. This is a really nice session sour - light, fruity, citrusy, moderately hoppy with a touch of wheat. Very drinkable, great for summer.

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Photo of Act25
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Can do no wrong with this sour, which must be tasted against all sours. Revelation and perfect fit to the name and can dressing, Go BROOKLYN!
a) Looks right, and as with all sours, the head fades fast and doesnt lace, but on point.
pale straw color, translucent haze, wispy white head.
s) grapefruit fresh citrus, flakey puff pastry and grassy earth.
t) Moves from faint to fabulous. "You taste fabulous". Reminds me of the sweet smelling bathing suit model blondes in i used to date in LA. *(well I dated one, Tina)
f) Acidity imparts a lifting, puckering, light-aired feel - per bel air.
o) what to drink at the beverly hilton.
As Beerchitect wrote "wonderful beer that begs for tangy young goat cheese, a loaf of sourdough and perhaps wine braised mussels."

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Teku beer glass- Looks opaque light honey yellow. Can't see my hand through the glass- Smell is of muted lemon and mild funkiness- Tastes sour for sure, definitely a vinous quality - Feels tight and dry with a puckering chardonnay like finish- I am new to sour beers-I have many,many bitter beers but this is a completely different beast. I can see the attraction (very refreshing) albeit different- Kind of like when you were a kid and liked sweet and sours-

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep straw/pale gold with a few dusty particulates swirling among rising effervescence. The pour produces an inch or so of weak, finely bubbled, short-lived white head which recedes to a weak island cap and collar ring leaving little lacing behind. Aroma is slightly acidic, bread dough, strawberry, pineapple, thin green apple and stone fruit wrapped around a yeasty funk. Taste is thin and pleasantly sour, mildly citric, pale malt, fruity with tropical fruit, strawberry and light green apple producing a short lived/brief aftertaste. As mentioned before a number of the wild ale style beers I have tried have a Gose-like brine developing in the finish & riding over into the aftertaste. Ditto on this one. I don't believe salt is an ingredient in this brew but a brine hint or something damn near like it is there. Throughout the sip there is a loose balance of sweet & sour with sour increasing slightly in the finish but climaxing and crashing before the drying aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate-high carbonation, dry but mouth clinging and a little prickly. A good and highly drinkable example.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a big fluffy white head. Marvelous retention throughout and sea foam lacing.
Strong and complex aroma that evokes passion fruit, lemon, candied oranges and white grapes. There is also an earthy component in that there is an herbal, hay like and grassy smell that plays off of additional fruity aromas of melon and pear.
Tart but not too acidic and with a subtle burst of fruity hops amidst a dry malt sweetness. Flavors of passion fruit, lemon, lime, grapefruit, green apples, and gooseberries amidst a fluffy wheat base and sourdough bread. Grassy and herbal hops add a nice peppery spice.
The mouthfeel is wonderful and unique for a sour. Not as sharp or acidic, instead, the wheat and gentle carbonation yield an unusually soft, smooth and fluffy mouthfeel. More medium bodied than light, this is a sour with a bit more body and ABV; although the alcohol flavor is hidden. The finish is dry, tart, yet not too puckering, and with a slightly sticky and gummy wheat linger.
This is a really nice take on an American Wild Ale style by Brooklyn Brewery. I just might get a sixer of it next time.

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Photo of Shade1951
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I think I've been spoiled by Victory Brewing's Sour Monkey. This sour is perfectly serviceable. It just doesn't match up with the Monkey.

It looks fine. Nice and cloudy. It smells pretty good too. Tropical fruit. Tart. It's just that the taste doesn't quite deliver what the smell promises. Yes, it is tart. I get a bit of pineapple, maybe? But the mouthfeel is on the watery side. And the aftertaste is a little bit astringent.

I'm glad Brooklyn put this out there, as there are precious few sours available among the glut of IPAs. It's just not something that I find very inspiring to try again.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

(12 oz bottle, BB Nov 2018; purchased cold... poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: yellow hazy liquid, tinge of orange; thin foam cap... initially alarmingly cloudy, but the haze subsides a bit; broken collar barely keeps

S: pineapple juice, banana, fruit bubblegum, background hint of orange creme... redolent fruit aromas, little to suggest any major tartness... floral aromas with a touch of citrus essence continue, maybe faint note of perfumy ethanol

T: bold pink grapefruit, subtle white wine background; soft hint of malt, especially in aftertaste - lightly doughy... finish and aftertaste are rather dry; not terribly bitter, delicately tart; essence of fleshy grapefruit rind and touch of the orange creme all that really lingers, maybe a hint of white cake; overall intensity remains relatively bold

F: approaches puckering at the onset of each sip; soft carbonation, tucked away... light-bodied, but a glassy-slick viscosity in the center (needs a little more sizzle?); frayed edges... probably wouldn't fatigue, but not sure I'd want another right away

O: purchased single bottle off room-temp shelf... not bad for what it is, grapefruit malt beverage-y... arguably restrained/muted in some areas... would like to maybe try a fresh bottle or have this on tap, but gears are turning thinking about possible food pairings - shellfish? grilled chicken with citrus glaze? - several possibilities

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Photo of Ceddd99
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is my first sour ale so I don't have anything to rate it against. It's pretty good, will definitely buy again. I can see myself drinking this over American Pales Ales or IPAs when I am in the mood for a fruity tasting beer.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Like other beers of this style, this brew presents a flavorful palate of tartness.

It pours yellow and cloudy, but clean and uniform looking. The aroma is faintly fruity yeasty sour. The taste is strongly yeasty sour. I'm not sure what all is in here, but I think it is good for my digestion.

Recommended.

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Photo of rudiecantfail
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Hazy, golden color. Nice white head that dissipated quickly to a cap. OK lacing.

S---Smells tart. Lemon is up front. Not complex, but it smells like a good sour, nonetheless.

T---Not as sour as the aroma indicated, but still clearly a sour. Lemon and citrus are dominant. Some malt/yeast to balance it out.

F---A bit of pucker from tartness. Definitely a quenching feel.

O---A very nice sour. Better than I was expecting from Brooklyn. I'd get this one again.

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Photo of nickles
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Didnt know what to expect as this was my first sour beer. Initial whiffs gave way to strong citrus and hops. Mostly grapefruits. Reminded me of many an IPA. Not quite as abrasive however. Has a bitter fruity forefront with a crisp spicy finish. This drink is rather light bodied so this would be an easy session beer.

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Photo of Suds
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a hazy gold color....not much of a head. The aroma is clean with a bit of fruit. Some yeast and a tart aroma. The taste is dry with a lot of pucker. Flavorful. Not a bad sour.

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Photo of Beejay
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: A pale yellow in color with a nice soft white head.

S: Stone fruit, and a touch of tartness. Lightly acidic with perhaps just a touch of earthy funk.

T: Stone fruit, I am getting lot of peach and apricot with a bit of citrus as well.. like grapefruit zest. Nice tartness with a hint of funk in there as well.

M: Medium light in body with plenty of carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

O: Overall a pretty good brew.

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Photo of wmscottsimpsonjr
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy gold with decent head. Sour lacto smell with toast, some lemon, hint of funk. Taste is more tropical fruit, especially papaya, with a bit of pine. Quite tart. Very little bitterness.

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Bel Air Sour from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 362 ratings