Bel Air Sour
Brooklyn Brewery

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Wild Ale
Ranked #1,395
Ranked #12,956
3.91 | pDev: 9.21%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
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: 88 | Ratings: 345 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Fjolltzu:
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.

 447 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful, bright and brazen in its sour palate profile, the culinary team at Brooklyn brewery cook up an ale that entices the senses with citrus, tropical fruit, light pastry and a daring earthen under current.

Bel Air pours a pale straw color and hosts a translucent haze. And that's where its bready soul begins. Whole grain, baking bread and those sharp citrus notes join up with cider, wine and cellar-like must before heading into taste. Soft on the early palate, its confectioner's sweetness carries the whimsy of sugar cookie and sourdough.

Embarking upon the middle palate, the ale quickly sheds its wafer sweetness and invites the sourness to steal the show. Lime, lemon, sour white grape, gooseberry, crabapple and passionfruit swirl in an exotic, fruity and supremely tart taste. Light on hay-like bitterness, the acidity balances the faint sweetness that trails into a musty dry back note of burlap and weathered woods.

Medium dry in finish, the ale's brisk sourness is brightened with mild salinity and the pursuit of fruit skins and peels that close quickly and with a crisp, refreshing bite. Bel Air is a wonderful beer that begs for tangy young goat cheese, a loaf of sourdough and perhaps wine braised mussels.

 1,231 characters

Photo of drtth
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear bright golden yellow color with a 1/4" ivory white head that recedes slowly but visibly. Sipping leaves a few scattered patches and legs of lacing. By mid-way through the beer there are only a few thin tiny patches of foam a small thin ring around the glass.

The aromas include some tangerine and tropical fruit as well as a touch of light spiciness with grassy/earthy character way in the background.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with some tangerine and tropical fruit. The tartness and a balancing sweetness are noticeable here but neither dominates the fruitiness that mostly remains in the forefront. Way in the background there's some spicy/earthy/grassy character as well.

The mouth feel is light or on the light side of medium bodied with a reasonable amount of prickly crispness from the light but persistent carbonation. The medium length finish begins as the fruitiness and the sweetness begin to fade a bit while the tartness lingers a bit longer before moving on to leave the ending to that spicy/earthy/grassy character from that closes out the show in some dryness in the back of the palate.

I've enjoyed this one more than several of the lacto soured beers I've tried since this one doesn’t seem to be all about the tartness. The well made beer is relatively complex with other flavors being noticeable rather than concealed by the tartness. I’d more than willing to have another one of these and expect I'll probably be adding this beer to my list of "occasional change of pace" beers for repeats in the future. I'd like to see this one become a summer seasonal since it is definitely a beer that would work well for summer party on the porch when a clean, refreshing beer is what would be wanted.

 1,793 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Hazy, translucent pale yellow, with some visible carbonation; a thin, foamy white head with somewhat poor retention, and very little lacing.

S: Amarillo upfront; orange peel, dankness, and grass. A mild tartness of lemon peel, candied lemons, ocean spray and yogurt. A bit of light crackers and wheat.

T: A big punch of tartness of lemon zest, lemon candy, lemon yogurt, tart pear, green apple, and citric acid. A slightly salinity sensation like a gose. A bit of cracker malt and wheat in the middle, briefly. Then comes the hops, with orange peel and flesh, grass, a slight dankness, and pineapple, leaning a dry, clean finish. Tapers off nicely without too much sourness or hoppiness, and very little in the way of lingering flavors, save for some tart lemon candy.

F: Medium-light, crisply carbonated, very smooth, refreshing, and crushable.

O: A really, really good, easy-drinking dry-hopped sour. Perfectly refreshing, well-balanced, and flavorful.

 968 characters

Photo of CNoj012
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a slightly hazy, bright golden color with a 1.5 finger, fluffy, bubbly, bright white head. Retention is well above average for the style and there are sticky chunks and patches of lacing left all over the glass.

Smell is very strong on the wheat and barley, with a hint of acidic lemon sour, and a touch of tropical hops.

Taste is a completely different beast. It starts off much more tart than I was lead to believe from the smell. It makes you pucker a bit, then the sourness and malts have a drying effect on the palate, leaving it primed for an onslaught of juicy mango, pineapple and papaya.

Feel is light, crisp and very dry. Dangerously drinkable.

Overall this beer is excellent. With how many if these I've had over the last two summers, I was shocked to realize that I still hadn't reviewed it.

 823 characters

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

Photo of The_Beer_Guru
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a golden color with a very small white head. I smell sour funkness, lots of tropical fruit, pineapple, passionfruit, and peach. Taste follows the smell and is very sour with a light crisp taste.

 200 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $5.75 at Taco Mac in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: A light golden body, lightly hazed with a quarter-inch of whitish froth.

Smell: Sweaty hay, lightly spoiled fruit, chiefly smelling of lemon. Kind of a muted scent, for me.

Taste: A light pale maltiness, touches of wheat and a minute amount of grain. Flash of sugary sweetness superseded by a pop of lemon and lactic tartness. Soft floral, hint of glue. Drying as the flavors recede towards the nearingly crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: It's decent.

 566 characters

Photo of AyatollahGold
3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of markallmon
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jacknyr08
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap a bright, golden color with fluffy white head. Tart fruity notes of pineapple and mango with a light toasted grain finish. Taste is pleasantly sour with a background of tropical fruit juice and a crisp, toasted cracker finish. Crisp carbonation and light body. Refreshing beer and one I would try again!

 317 characters

Photo of StoutBruin2
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Zach_Fehrman
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tbeer40
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nmattis13
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Really interesting beer, almost like a fruit sour, but there's no actual fruit involved. I get pineapple mixed with tart cherries over doughy, earthy grains. Great beer for summer and a new twist on the lacto sour.

 214 characters

Photo of sw201444
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

So, I love IPA's and real bitter beer. Usually sticking to the stuff I know.. being a chevy guy, this caught my eye tonight. I grabbed it and took this classy lady home, after getting her to open up, she gave decent head. I brought my mouth closer to her and after tasting her I'm hooked. I can only hope this beer becomes a permanent one, instead of a limited run.

Color; a very nice yellow. Not too dark, but it clear.
It smells like a beer, with a bit of a spicier scent.
Tastes sweet, with a kick. It's definitely sour, and that's a very good thing.
It feels smooth, a bit prickly, but nothing out of the ordinary for a sour.

 634 characters

Photo of maxarvo
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good, although basic, sour. Very drinkable!

50 characters

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

Nice sour from Brooklyn. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a flute - nice big bubbly white head with about average retention for a bubbly carbonated head. Vivid golden color that is only slightly hazy. Looks good. Aroma includes fruit (peaches and some citrus) , some floral hops and tartness from the lacto. Flavor pretty similar. There is fruity sweetness, a healthy amount of tartness and some bitterness from the floral hops. A nice mix, with the tartness being the most dominant. Mouthfeel is light, tart with a nice level of carbonation and a little bitterness. A good take of an Amer. Wild Ale

 607 characters

Photo of hasse67
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 8/28/2016 at Natty Greene’s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, some esters and some tart fruit.

T: The taste starts out tart with flavors of esters and some fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from wild yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is very mild but brings a decent balance. The after-taste is tart.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are better choices available in the style.

 794 characters

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

Boom. Sour and fresh.

21 characters

Photo of desint
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bel Air Sour from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 345 ratings