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Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by gcamparone, Mar 15, 2013.
Are they difficult to craft? Are the raw materials expensive/hard to come by?
Probably cause they take forever to mature and although gaining popularity, they are still a relatively lesser-known/popular style and tend to be an acquired taste.
Funny. At the time that was written you could regularly get Cantillon off the shelf.
That's so ironic. People were probably wondering what a sour was at the time too. I was 12 years old.
Wild yeast scares brewers. Okay, that could be taken the wrong way but many brewers do not want to risk contamination and bring bugs and brett into their brew house. Most will want to keep their clean beer separate but that is not always possible given space limitations many breweries can run up against.
Really enjoyed that read. Thanks.
Beer 101 section.
Thank the Alstrom Bros.!
Yea I got that...don't know the last time I was in that section.
I happen to be drinking a sour barrel aged saison from JesterKing in Texas as I type this. My love of sours has been rekindled, I can't get enough of this stuff. Seriously I can't get enough because it's a 500 mile drive to the closest place that sells it.
Few breweries have the resources to devote a separate brewhouse for sours. Some of us love sours but we don't want sour ESB's Porters, IPAs etc. My understanding is that once souring bugs get established in brewing gear there will always be a risk of any beer brewed turning sour. I've homebrewed sours and have never had a problem, but if I had hundreds of thousands of dollars invested I wouldn't take the chance either.
I love that you did this. The information on this site is invaluable! I give beer tastings to wine and food groups, social clubs, charities, school board events, etc. etc. and I always go the this site for information not only about what to serve but to read about each style. The information on this site is just wonderful and I refer as many people to it as I can, as a means of "becoming an expert" by sitting on your computer, reading and then tasting!
Supply and Demand.
Supply and Demand. Beer Advocates answer for everything, regardless if it makes sense.
Short answer...they're not.
In fact I'd figure it to be quite the opposite. The number of breweries making these beers is growing at a geometric rate. Not to mention there are breweries that really only make sours for the most part.
Judging by the responses you're getting, I'd say a better question was "Why are sours so expensive?"
While I agree that they are growing in availability, sours are still not to the level of what I would consider to be common. At least not in my area (SW PA). In contrast to the availability of other styles, they are definitely still uncommon. The ratio of available shelf sours to almost each and every other style is little to a lot.
Just so happens that the same reasons also hold water when applied to the expense aspect of sour beer production.
They have to pay back the loans. I think about Cantillon selling Classic for 5-7 euro. I'm sure after being in the location for 100 years they own the place.
Says the guy from California.
In many states it is hard to find sours on any regular basis. In Michigan I can find Jolly Pumpkin, outside of that I am really lucky to come across much of anything.
I would have said "Economics 101", but that would have been too subtle.
The definition of a sour is expanding all the time. Now it is really the American Wild Ale that seems to be growing now that brewers are adding brett and barrel aging many of their beers.
But let's be real those kinds of beers, unless brewed by great brewers, don't approach spontaneous fermented lambics. Wild yeasts just add distinctive characteristics that are hard to replicate. The rarity of these lambics drive up the hunt for other "sour" ales.
TW in Bellevue has like 6 regularly available sours out of 2500 or so total beers... I would say they are uncommon. The short answer I've received from most brewers is they're afraid of contaminating their brew process.
Forgive my ignorance. Sometimes living in a place like this, I forgot that people in the boon sticks don't have the same access I do. I hear the Internet barely made it out to you guys, how are you liking it so far?
Five gallons of homebrewed sour ale = $40 and a wait time of 9-18 months.
Five gallons of Red Poppy or Consecration = $800
Cost of homebrew gear for a 5 gallon batch= $400-$800.
Hmmmm? How many more years do you plan on drinking beer?
Because many BA's don't care much for them.
Because it's not an easily approachable style for most.
Because it's not what newbies think of as 'beer'.
Because Lindemans happened and that's what they think a lambic is.
A little fact that I got at a conference 10 years back. In the homeland of sours, Belgium, the lambics, Flemish Reds and Sour Browns account for <3% of the sales of beer.
I lived in Germany. My co-workers thought that the sour beers were obviously infected and not fit for human consumption.
It was said above that the barrels have to be scrapped after 3 uses. That is the standard for Bourbon barrel aged beers where you don't (normaly) want infected beers. The porosity of the wood is place the wild yeast and bacteria can establish a home and is hard to disinfect (every see a thead about infected BA beers). A barrel is not ideal for normal beer, but is ideal for sour beers. Some of the barrels at Cantillion are said to be 100 years old, so with a storage time of 3 years per batch, they have been used 30 times or so.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with Lindeman's Gueuze Cuvee Renee.
Of course there isn't.
But when i when I spoke of 'easily approachable' and 'newbies', you knew very well that I was talking about the Framobise, et al.
Of course. I wasn't scolding you and I apologize if it came out that way. I was merely pointing that out so that any ``sour newbies'' who read your post will not assume that all Lindemans sours are poor. I actually think the Cuvee Renee is a very good place to start (since it's easy to find).
I heard that's why milk stouts are so thick.
Seriously? Maybe if you buy your gear exclusively from Blichman. I have about $200 invested in all my gear, and can brew sours all day long.