Bel Air Sour | Brooklyn Brewery

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Bel Air SourBel Air Sour
Very Good
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

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 313
Photo of zeff80
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured out a clear, golden color with a small, white head of foam. It smelled of tart, sour lemons and green apple. Nice tart, acidic and fruity taste with lemon and green apple.

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Photo of DaverCS
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quick review:

Taste like some a soured pale ale. Some peach and passion fruit. Herbal and aspirin-like bitterness.

Overall, would not buy again. Don’t like the hop bitterness with the sourness. It gets a 73.5/100.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a not super sour dry hopped sour wheat, a style that has come on recently, and is decidedly on trend at this point. the use of hops like mosaic and amarillo, heavy handed and post fermentation, is what makes these successful for me. this isnt that different from all the others, at least to me, but what makes it stand out is its overall quality, not its flavors or techniques. one of the key features for me is the mildness of the sour side, its lactic but its clean, and the fruity hops give it a similar acid vibe to fresh orage juice or lemonade, no more, so the pucker is there without it being harsh on the teeth or in the belly. that alone puts it ahead of its class. the fruity dry hops extend the beer and make it seem more complex than it is, and i like that too. the wheat on this one fluffs it up nicely, i hate when these are too thin, and the low abv keeps it real drinkable. this one feels tropical and summery to me, easy going for a sour, and something with potentially extremely wide appeal. its nothing new at this point, but its really well done. nice to see some new flavors from these guys!

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear golden color with a small fizzy head. Head retention is mild. Lacing is good. Has a tart citrus (lemon mainly) aroma. Very tart taste. A little bit on the watered down side. Lemon. Light bodied. Somewhat dry. Moderate to heavy carbonation.

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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.

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

On tap at Vermont Tap house. This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a glossy burnt red color with a decent transparency about it. Bar pour’s kind of white slim head. Sly white lacing. The smell started off with a bright and big sweet to sour and tart fresh green apples. Big and warming over a nice vinous underneath. Belgian sugars with a sly spicy underneath flowing on into a nice malt base. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation rides nice and adequate along my tongue. Overall, nice American Wild ale that I wouldn’t mind going at again in the Summer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint pale yellow colored highlights. The beer has a finger tall fizzy foamy white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Very light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of tart citrus/lemon and citrus/tangerine hops over the top of light aromas of wheat malts, slightly spicy yeast, and a hint of earthy lacto funkiness.

T: Upfront there is a light to medium flavor of slightly sour wheat + pale malts with minimal amounts of sweetness. That is followed by light notes of slightly spicy yeast and moderate flavor of earthy lacto tartness. Finally there are moderate flavors of tart citrus/lemon and citrus/tangerine hops. Hints of bitterness from the hops which fade quickly leaving a slightly heavier than light amount of lingering tartness.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy with a hint of acidic prickliness.

O: Easy to drink, just about sessionable with well hidden alcohol. Refreshing.

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Photo of JamFuel
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light orange, with little head.

Smell is kind of sweet and sour, with ginger and lime leading the way.

Taste is refreshingly tart, with notes of green apples, lime and ginger. A slight hoppy prescence rounds it out.

Thin bodied, nice level of carbonation.

Overall, a nice sour, good balance and very refreshing. Maybe not the most complex, but nice.

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Photo of bark
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

The colour is yellow, the liquid clear. The two finger thick head is white and airy; it sinks slowly down to a thin lid leaving no lacing.

The smell is bitter-sour and very fruity. Mostly lemonade, but also some mango lychee and ripe pineapple.

The taste is bitter-sour-sweet with, again, lemon, lychee, pineapple and lime. Growing sweetness makes it surprisingly similar to a lemonade given there are no fruits involved. Medium body. The aftertaste got smooth citric sweetness, lemonade and lime squash. Some tartness and notes of yoghurt and cream cheese. The tart finish is quite short and light with a distinct note of lemon cheesecake.

The carbonation is medium strong; the mid-sized bubbles are smooth and short-lived. The liquid is semi-smooth.

I like this beer: It is drier more clean and more balanced than most modern sour ales.

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This sour, y'all. Brooklyn nailed it.

Clear straw. Fruit, hops, vinegar in the nose. Astringent sour on the front end, citrus fruit and dryness swoop in, bitter on the backend. This is surprisingly refreshing. Brooklyn has hit it out of the park on this one. Get it if you can.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle

Pours foggy hazy gold with a frothy white foam head that recedes to a thin ring with a long lasting stream of bubbles rising to the top. Smells like tart funky fruits, raspberry, lemon, grapefruit, orange citrus, lime, apricot, guava, passionfruit, some green tea, bready crackery wheat, with woody floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like sour funky fruits, raspberry, lemon, grapefruit, orange citrus, lime, guava, passionfruit, apricot, green tea, bready crackery wheat, with woody floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy with high carbonation. Overall a real nice dry-hopped sour ale.

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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.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bel Air Sour brewed by Brooklyn Brewery, with an ABV of 5.80% This American Wild Ale pours out a nice golden amber color with a small white head. The head to this brew goes away fast, there is some spotty lacing to the brew as well. You pick up on some nice earthly grains and malts in the smell of this brew. There is also sourness and hops bitterness in the smell as well. The smell of Bel Air Sour is really inviting. Now for the taste, it is different but in a good way. You first pick up on the bitter sourness, and hops. Then a nice smoothness of earthly grains and malts. There is also some nice citrus flavors in the taste of this brew. There is a lot going on in Bel Air Sour. If you are not into bitter sour tasting stuff this is not the brew for you. However if you look this one up. To me there is nothing overpowering about this brew, it has a balance to it that grows on you. Bel Air Sour has a medium body to it. The mouth feel of Bel Air Sour is Bold, Sour, Earthly, Clean and Refreshing. This brew would go nice on a hot summer day. Overall I'm giving Bel Air Sour a 4.25 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again. Brooklyn Brewery, did a real nice job with this brew.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall I liked this, but it's not simple or easy. The hopping is the issue. It comes across in both the aroma and taste. An herbal earthy quality and the rub is that at times I like it and at other times I'd don't. Not sure how to explain this as it fascinate me too, but there is not other way to explain it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and it can vary drink to drink, sip to sip.
I like the base beer and it keeps with my impression of the brewery of making true to style beers. This one deviates more than others with the hopping but the base beers is tart and fruity and thin according to style. Nice color and short lived head. A shot of bitterness up and beyond the tartness.
I think overall I like it, and I'd say I'd be inclined to buy again. Not a lot of affordable sour beers and this one works well enough.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma offers more nuance than your typical "herp derp let's dump a whole bunch of lacto in the mash" sour. Notes of lemon and Greek yogurt are pleasing, but play second fiddle to the notes of lime, lavender, and grass running around. Subtleties of lychee, mango, and passionfruit also add a welcome dimension. No complaints with the aroma, and it tastes just as pleasing. Lychee seems to be the dominant flavor near the front, alongside slight touches of lime. Lacto shows up near the middle, yet is nicely restrained. Mild hints of Greek yogurt balance the opening fruit sweetness without too much biting tartness. This is probably 3/10 on the sour scale. Gentle pale malts round everything out. It's seemingly straightforward, yet rewards the palate with subtle depth and complexity. The feel is soft yet well-carbonated - an odd mix, but it somehow works. It's very refreshing and goes down with a steady ease. In the realm of kettle sours, this one is near the top. It offers a great tropical fruit quality, and is approachable enough for beginners. I'd definitely consider putting this into my regular rotation.

3.84/5: Almost as cool as a '50s Chevy, and that's high praise

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a deep gold color. Somewhat transparent. A fizzy off white head that has good retention.

It smells a bit like a Gose to me, only without the salt. There is a crackery, wheat backdrop with some ripe fruit and apple cider. I smell grapefruit, green apple/pear, lemon, and some sort of berry.

There is a spicy, and tart acidic punch that doesn't linger. It instead transitions to a passionfruit, a dark berry of some kind that is as sweet as sour, pear, pink grapefruit, lemon, some wheat, a touch of flower petals, and some salt.

Body is light, crisp, and lively without being over carbonated.

This is a very easy drinking, and enjoyable beer with a lot going on. Overall, I would describe it as a combination of a Gose and a Wild Ale with a little hop profile. I highly recommend trying it.

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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

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Photo of crisis1290
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. This is a super sour. Job well done Brooklyn. Picked up a six pack at our local grocery store. The buyer had a seven case stack on Wednesday and worn on 4 days there was only 7 six packs left. I had to try it !
On the pour it was a hazy golden color. Tropical citrus smell and taste follows the smell with a very well balanced hit of lacto. Nice wheaty background to boot. The price point on the gem is right on the money. Tropical hops , pale malts and lacto. Yum !

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Photo of donspublic
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into shaker minimal head and lacing. Clear golden in the glass. Smells a tad bit tart with some citrus coming thru. Slightly tart in the front, not aggressive, really picking up lemon, citrus in the middle, semi dry finish. Thinking this is a good beer to go with mezcal and jalapenos.

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Photo of Urk1127
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dirty blonde. Very heavy handed pour results in a finger of off white head. Some lacing left as I drink. Slight thin layer of head left as it goes down.
Sour grains, wheat, slight hay. About it. Maybe some unripe guava.
Very solid wheat backbone. Good wheat flavor. Fluffy. With a warheads candy like lemon sour that rides the top of the said wheat base. Slight unripe guava, green mango SO subtle it's hard to pick out but now warm, I try hard to find it.
Feel is like sour patch kids. Semi dry. Fluffy base beer due to the wheat. I taste no tropical which is now me questioning the amount or timing of mosaic in this but not considered hoppy at all.

Surprisingly sour. Caught off gourd actually because of how pungent it is but it is done right. Quite possibly one of the most balanced sours I've had for being so incredibly sour. I must say though. The lower rating in contrast to my praise also was due to the consideration that this is only a one and done for me. I couldn't drink 2 of these back to back. I enjoy my living taste buds. The lactobacillus is sharp and aggressive in this one, albeit still balanced. A huge sour..... balanced

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Photo of NastyNorseman
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Fruity, tropical blast of aroma mango and papaya come out in the flavor with the tartness shining through. Clear pale gold colored with white head that doesn't last long. Light bodied and clean finish. First sour. Not bad.

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 6/28/2017. Pours slightly hazy pale golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of tart lemon, lime, tangerine, peach, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berry, pear, green apple, white grape, citrus peel, hay, grass, pepper, light lacto funk, wheat, cracker, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/acidic yeast, citrus/tropical hops, and moderate pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big tart lemon, lime, tangerine, peach, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berry, pear, green apple, white grape, citrus peel, hay, grass, pepper, light lacto funk, wheat, cracker, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/lactic tartness; light herbal/grassy bitterness and peppery spice on the finish. Lingering notes of tart lemon, lime, tangerine, peach, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berry, pear, green apple, citrus peel, pepper, wheat, cracker, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/acidic yeast, citrus/tropical hops, and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/bitter/spiciness balance; zero puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from tartness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth and moderately crisp/acidic/grainy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5.8%. Overall this is a great dry hopped kettle sour! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/acidic yeast, citrus/tropical hops, and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth, crisp, and refreshing to drink with the balanced acidity. Very impressive complexity from both hop and lacto character; with a solid malt backbone for balance. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bel Air Sour | Brooklyn Brewery. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, the head on this brew is two fingers thick, with solid lacing, and a pale opaque golden body.

I smell a mild bitterness without an obvious culprit. Its just "sour" scented I suppose.

The taste is a gose-level sourness with a pleasant citrus fruit addition. Not cloying in the least bit, as this is unearthly refreshing with an appropriately crisp finish.

Medium-light mouthfeel with fair carbonation.

Overall, I'll give Bel Air Sour | Brooklyn Brewery a 4.25. A less-sour sour that has a gateway potential I've yet to see in the larger US brewers. Take this to a party or similar gathering if you'd like to get someone into micros; it just may do the trick.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Been a while since I bought anything new from Brooklyn but I liked the '50's-inspired design of this bottle and the style of beer that this was. These guys were one of the first that got me into this while beer thing as well, so I had to grab this when I saw it on the shelf. In tune with most of their other offerings, this turned out to be nicely crafted, relatively easygoing, and so darned likeable!

Nice pour to this as the beer had a wonderful, golden radiance to it with a nice head that quickly settled down. Not a lot of lacing was seen on the side of my pint glass as the liquid and foam were quite thin. From start to finish, this was quite dry as the lactobaccilus yeast dominated from start to finish. Tart up front, there was a good amount of citrus juice, lemon, white grape, and dry white in here as well. This nearly felt like champagne as the aftertaste had a hint of raspberry tartness and wood aging to it.

While not a true session beer, it would be really easy to have another after finishing one of these off. Shame that this is a seasonal beer - this should be available year-round and would be a better offering than the current Brooklyn Summer. This was what a good American Wild Ale should taste like, as the rough edges were nice and polished. Fun stuff!

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Photo of utopiajane
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours spectacularly . Brassy and gold in indirect light, sweet bright yellow in the full light. Soft haze and a big white head that fell fast to a cap and ring. The chill haze cleared fast and left me with a very clear and handsome beer.

The nose is subtle but graceful. It's prickly weeds, a bit of pungency and a soft scented malt. A bit citrusy and a lilting herbal . There's a little bit of funk on the nose but it does not jut out or take over.

Driinks surprisingly earthy and with lots of hops I was not expecting. They are sweet and herbal. Citrusy and with a nice little sour twang to it as it finishes. it finishes malty not hoppy and with a crisp champagne bubble. Dry and with a bit of citrus peel in the finish. Maybe a hint at tropical fruit. The swallow is a bit sweeter than straight lemon juice and while it does make your mouth water it does not pucker you too much. No bitterness to taste or observe but the hops were in there all the way to the end. You r tongue tingles just a bit from bitterness. The aftertaste is where you see a little more complexity from this beer. Spicy hop and that earthiness is the funk.

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Bel Air Sour from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 313 ratings