Bel Air Sour | Brooklyn Brewery

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Bel Air SourBel Air Sour
Very Good
280 Ratings
Bel Air SourBel Air Sour

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by HattedClassic on 03-26-2016

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 280 |  Reviews: 77
Reviews by confer:
Photo of confer
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
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 drtth
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
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 BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 CNoj012
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
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 khoff5
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of heddar33
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle...BB 8-14-77 etched on the neck of the bottle

Pours near clear lighter, near golden amber, minor of white head leaves low mini fileds of lite sheeting.

Nose is mildly of some lactic malt and prickly yeast notes.

Tasty brew, with biting grapefruit, and moderate levels of lactic and citric sour going on, notes of tart apples,...Crisp, refreshing and palate clearing. Well worth a try...great stuff with peppery salads, cheese and crackers...quality stuff

 472 characters

Photo of ledouge
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of deebo
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Tastes like a Berliner Weiss. Crisp with a bit of and just a touch of the funk. A great palette cleanser. Easy drinking but with some added grassiness.

 174 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GOBLIN
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy gold color with a minimal head. Aromas are non existent, maybe a slight tarty funk but not much of anything on the nose. Upfront the flavors are grass, lemons, dandelion and some citrus. Feel is thin bodied with a touch of carbonation. Finishes dry. Overall, it's not bad, drinkable but more of a starter sour perhaps.

 331 characters

Photo of MikefromNYC
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Straight out of fridge and served in oversized stemless wine glass.

A - Hazy yellow body with small head upon pour. Strong lacing.
S - Not a strong smelling beer, but picking up on yeastiness and acidity
T - Lemon juice soaked bread, with some grapefruit zest hopiness on the back end. Yeasty, bready, and sour. Notes of lemon and clove.
M - Clean, crisp, and light, yet simultaneously creamy. Average carbonation.
O - First time I had a beer like this, and I will be getting more! Highly recommend.

 500 characters

Photo of sgttibbs
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JMS1512
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brother_rebus
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Pzrc99
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Sammy
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of whatname
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Brewery "Bel Air Sour"
on tap @ Total Wine & More, Claymont, DE
$6.99 for a 32 fl. oz. growler fill

Appearance: Mainly clear golden body beneath a short-lived 1/4" thick head of bright white. Effervescent bubbles can be seen racing towards the surface, but they just don't have the numbers to keep the head 'afloat'. Limited lacing as might be expected, and which is common in sour beers.

Aroma: Hoppy backed by clean acidity. Citrusy (orange/tangerine) and berry-like with some subtle spiciness, a touch of leafy/grassiness, and a hint of mint.

Flavor: The hops are not as strong as the aroma might suggest, but they remain, adding exactly what they promise and more (peach, apricot) over a firm tartness, and lightly grainy-sweet malt base. It's sweet-tart-ish with a bright fruitiness, and unique low-level herbal-spiciness that rounds it out. It's not bitter, as that's not needed with the acidity from the wild yeast, and it's about as balanced as you can get leaving a hint of sugar on one side and a snap of acid on the other. Spread over the top of that is the fruitiness of the hops, and the

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a bit of a dextrinous edge, pushing it towards light-medium. Tingling, bristling, fine-bubbled median-level effervescent carbonation. The acidity adds a bit to the "bite" of the C02.

Overall: It has sourness to it, but it also has a bit of sweetness to it, and it's very orange and berry-like (at times I feel like I'm tasting blueberry in the back), and the edge of mint and other low level herbs is what takes it beyond what everyone else is doing, adding a subtle layer of complexity. Refreshing and invigorating, massively drinkable, and 'serious' at 6.5% ABV this is not a beer to be missed.

 1,743 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy golden color with a bit of off-white foam. Aroma is sweet/sour with unripe banana notes and sweet lemon. Taste follows with sweet lemon and acidic notes, slightly lactic but mostly lemony. Light to medium body, well carbonated. Easy drinking, quite refreshing, also a bit hoppy on the finish.

 297 characters

Photo of fthegiants
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
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

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Bel Air Sour from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 280 ratings