Help Getting in to Sours/Wild Ales

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Lognar, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. Lognar

    Lognar Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2012 Illinois

    I am interested in sours/wild ales. I have never had one and I am curious. The discovery aspect is what I have come to love most about craft in the year and a half I've been into it. The closest I've gotten to the funky side of things is probably Boulevard Saison Brett and I absolutely loved that brew.

    I'm looking for some help finding some decent sours/wild ales to introduce me to the style AND that are easily obtained without trading (I have not the deep pockets nor the cellar to hunt whales). BA Ratings give an idea of what is good, but not availability (I know well enough that Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen are beyond my reach). And, I don't even know if "easily obtained" and "decent" go together when it comes to sours/wild ales/lambics/oud bruins.

    I'm out in the SW Chicago burbs to give an idea of the distribution area I'm in.

    I'm not necessarily looking for the best or anything, just what you all would recommend to someone new. And if I shouldn't bother if I can't get the top notch brews, please say so. Cheers!
  2. alexipa

    alexipa Devotee (439) Oct 7, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Saison Brett, while not really a sour or wild, is excellent and a great start.

    I would recommend any of the New Belgium Lips of Faith sours. They are world class in my opinion but very approachable.
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  3. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    Liefmans Cuvée Brut. NB Lips of Faith sours. Especially Tart Lychee. Go to a bottle share. Take something dope and I'm sure someone will take a sour you can try in a small sample. Or trade 3Floyds for RR Sours easily
    Lognar likes this.
  4. jwheeler87

    jwheeler87 Aspirant (226) Oct 27, 2011 Massachusetts

    Rodenbach, Duchess De Bourgogne, Petrus, Lindman's Cuvee Rene are all easy to find in my area. I like all of them, and they won't kill the bank account.
  5. mkennedy119

    mkennedy119 Devotee (456) Nov 13, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'd suggest Monk's Cafe to anyone looking for a springboard. Definitely not the best by any means, but it will give you a decent idea of what a sour can lead to.
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  6. jmarce

    jmarce Initiate (70) May 15, 2011 Connecticut

    GI Juliet, Lolita, Madame Rose
    Tilquin Oude Gueuze is excellent and generally much easier to find than Cantillon/3F
    Lindeman's Cuvee Rene if you want a solid, easy to find and relatively cheap gueuze to try the style.
    alelover, Lognar and Callmecoon like this.
  7. tut2528

    tut2528 Initiate (0) Sep 26, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    +1 To Juliet, Madame Rose and Lolita

    Also Jolly Pumpkin La Roja
    alelover, Lognar and rolandboy like this.
  8. mmikey8

    mmikey8 Disciple (305) Aug 2, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm not into sours, but enjoy drinking Monks Cafe Flemish Sour Ale. Also, Dissident wasn't so bad for a starter.
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  9. goodbeerallday

    goodbeerallday Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2011 Australia

    find the duchess! she wants you
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  10. sibhuskyx

    sibhuskyx Initiate (144) Jun 2, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Cuvee Rene
    RR Sours if they are in your are
    Lognar likes this.
  11. Lognar

    Lognar Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2012 Illinois

    Wow, thanks for the responses. I really appreciate it. You've given me a great start. Keep em coming!

    And, Tut2528 I don't know if you were aware but we have mutual acquaintances in Sleuthdog and WoodJJacct. They are the reason craft became a hobby for me instead of a passing curiosity.
  12. sweemzander

    sweemzander Poo-Bah (2,351) Mar 26, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Imstillthegman and Lognar like this.
  13. NickMunford

    NickMunford Savant (978) Oct 2, 2006 Wyoming

    I don't know specifically what beers are distributed in your area, but I would recommend flemish reds. They're on the lighter side of sours I think. Previously I didn't like sours at all, but I do like flemish reds and I think they're helping me develope a taste and appreciate sours more.

    Edit: replace all "flemish" with "Flanders". Stupid phone! Lol
    arcook11 and Lognar like this.
  14. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Liefman's Goudenband is a favorite of mine and pretty easily had.
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  15. arcook11

    arcook11 Aspirant (215) Nov 27, 2010 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    I Agree with djaeon. Your local Two Brothers Askew is a good example.

    Find a CO trader and get Consecration, Supplication, The Meddler, Friek, la Folie, and Le Terroir. I wish I had this box on the way to me right now. Juliet is good but the GI sours are over priced.

    Geueze are too much funk for me at this point in my craft career. I just get burning tires and dirt, which I have yet to find enjoyable. My favorite Brett is Boulevard Saison-Brett. And a nice easy to find Brett is Green Flash Rayon Vert.
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  16. antlerwrestler19

    antlerwrestler19 Disciple (363) Nov 24, 2010 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    One of the first sours that got me going was this little guy after my fiancé snagged a bottle at our favorite bottle shop for me to buy it for her. Pretty tasty, should be relatively easy to find (it's always on the shelf here).
    Lognar likes this.
  17. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    La Roja - Jolly Pumpkin
    Cuvee De Tomme - Lost Abbey
    Oude Tart - The Bruery
    Rueuze - The Bruery
    Dissident - Deschutes
    Lips of Faith (Le Terroir) - New Belgium
    Lips of Faith (Le Folie) - New Belgium
    Oude Geuze Mariage Parfait - Brouwerij Boon
    Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L'Ancienne - Gueuzerie Tilquin
    Cuvée René - Brouwerij Lindemans
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  18. Keffa

    Keffa Defender (634) Jan 8, 2009 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I will second the Liefmans suggestions. Cuvee Brut and Goudenband are both fantastic, and they can be had for 8.99-9.99 usually for a 750 cork and caged bottle.

    Also, many of the other suggestions are good, such as New Belgium Lips of Faith La Folie, JP La Roja (pretty much any JP is good from my experience), Boon Mariage Parfait Kriek (didn't care for the Geuze that much, and I like Geuze), Two Brothers Askew is good, Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge is fantastic. And the Goose Island Lolita is freaking delicious.

    So many good ideas in this thread, making me thirsty.
    Lognar likes this.
  19. 77black_ships

    77black_ships Devotee (445) Dec 4, 2012 Belgium

    These are great entry sours also if you can RR where you live those are on par with the best from Belgium but way more sour.
  20. podunkparte

    podunkparte Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2009 Washington

    Cuvee de Tomme is on shelves in Chicago?
  21. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    Oops, yeah that one is at the brewery bad
  22. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    As I would recommend for any style, just buy and try. It's more fun to steer your own ship of discovery than have some so-called veterans tell you where to sail. If that doesn't fit your fancy, go to the best of lists and determine what is in your area of distribution - or even better yet, comb your local beer stores and have fun.

    I don't think sour ales are an overly acquired taste. They're sharp, bright and flavorful.
  23. iKasey

    iKasey Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Agrred! Flanders reds were my breakthrough as well. Lost Abbey's Red Poppy still is one of my all-time favorites
  24. TrinidadJ

    TrinidadJ Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2012 Trinidad & Tobago

    Most Walgreens in Suburban Chicago have Cantillon.

  25. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (205) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    111 S. Halsted is definitely not in the suburbs.
  26. Madskill

    Madskill Aspirant (243) Nov 25, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    My first sour was Supplication. I thought it was very different but at the same time very tasty, I have never encountered anything like it before.
  27. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    Chicago doesn't get Russian River, but he should definitely trade for them
  28. Keffa

    Keffa Defender (634) Jan 8, 2009 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I thought it was terribly one note on the acidity, honestly it offered nothing else to the palate. Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge or Rodenbach Grand Cru are both hands down better and are cheaper overall.

    Personal opinion, bear in mind.
  29. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,139) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I know they aren't sours, but sofie and matilda both bring the brett to the party. Also keep an eye out for avery barrel ged sours. Oud floris, odio equum and muscat d'amour are all amazing.
  30. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    How does your Walgreens carry Cantillon?
  31. MADPolo

    MADPolo Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2012 Alabama

    Damn, my Walgreens only carries:
  32. danedelman

    danedelman Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I got into sours with Flanders reds like Rodenbach and Duchesse de Borgogne. Both easily found anywhere.
  33. Mr_Brodie

    Mr_Brodie Initiate (16) Dec 13, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    This thread just got so annoying... Now I am off to Walgreens. It is freezing in NY today. I have a feeling the closest thing they will have to Cantillon is fermented Motts apple juice.
    Torieos and Horbar like this.
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