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Top 38 Sour Beers

Pucker up! It's time for the finest sours we've ever reviewed.

Sour beers have become one of the most important segments of craft beer. Though their illustrious and colorful history encompasses centuries of beer-making, they only recently became widely popular for mainstream craft beer drinkers.

Myriad styles of sour beers are available on the market these days, as lighter styles like Gose and Berliner Weisse have exploded in popularity due to their refreshing tartness and quenching, low-ABV alcohol content.

Belgian-style sour beers like Flanders Red Ale and Oud Bruin, while not quite as widely imbibed as their lighter German counterparts, feature higher alcohol content and heavier malt bills – as well as more complexity and incomparable mouth-puckering sourness.

 

 

 

Also available are the ever-popular Fruit Lambics, which are usually highlighted by Framboise (brewed with raspberries) and Kriek (brewed with cherries). However, as with all modern craft beer, there is plenty of room for innovation and experimentation, as Fruit Lambics can be brewed with any type of fruit – from mango to pawpaw.

So read on, and enjoy the Top 38 Sour Beers The Beer Connoisseur has ever reviewed!

(Disclaimer: This list only represents beers that have been reviewed by our panel of judges and does not represent every sour beer ever brewed. We think that would be almost impossible.)


#38

94
by Rodney Tillinghast
Westbrook Gose
Westbrook Brewing Co.

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#37

94
by Sandy Cockerham
The Keel
Cape May Brewing Co.

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The first of three entrants on this list from Cape May Brewing Co. in New Jersey, this stunning sour from the brewery’s barrel-aged “Stow Away Series” features a clean lactic sourness coupled with notes of dried plums, white grapes and a hint of oak from the barrel. Delightfully complex.


#36


94

bxy Jim Koebel
Cuvée des Jacobins Prestige
Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste

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#35

94
by Jason Johnson
Snozzberry
Green Man Brewery

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#34

94
by Jason Johnson
VanderGhinste Oud Bruin
Brouwerij Omer VanderGhinste

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Debuting over 125 years ago, this gold standard in brewing from Belgium’s Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste is as flawless a rendition in the Oud Bruin style as can be found. A pleasant sourness in this creamy Oud Bruin balances well with a hefty malt backbone and subtle stone fruit flavors.


#33

94 
by Richard Wong
Incorrigible
New Holland Brewing Co.

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#32

94
by Michael Heniff
Dryades
NOLA Brewing Company

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#31

94
by Susan Ruud
Kiss From A Gose
Peace Tree Brewing Co.

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This incredibly named Gose from Peace Tree Brewing in Knoxville, Iowa is the highest-rated Gose on our list – and with good reason. Wheaty and floral with the typical Gose sweet-and-salty tanginess, this one definitely gets our “seal” of approval.


 

#30

94
by BC Review
Cuvée René
Brouwerij Lindemans

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#29

94 
by Owen Ogletree
White Angel
Wicked Weed Brewing

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#28

95
by BC Review
Red Poppy
The Lost Abbey

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#27

95
by Rodney Tillinghast
The Discreet Charm of the Framboisie
Brooklyn Brewery

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Named after the Academy Award-winning surrealistic film from Spanish director Luis Bunuel, this deliciously subtle Fruit Lambic from Brooklyn Brewery is one of the brewery’s famed 750-mL limited releases. Featuring gorgeous hits of raspberry and pleasing sourness throughout, this one is sure to do more than discreetly charm any sour beer fans.


#26

95
by BC Review
Monk's Café Sour Flemish Ale
Brouwerij Van Steenberge

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#25

95
by Pat Mulloy
pFriem Flanders Blonde
pFriem Family Brewers

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#24

95
by Joe Formanek
Pawpaw
Upland Brewing Co.

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#23

paradise-by-holy-city-brewing-co.jpg

95
by Pat Mulloy
Cherry
Upland Brewing Co.

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#22


95

by John C. Tull
Atrial Rubicite
Jester King Brewery

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The first of three Jester King beers on this list, Atrial Rubicite is perhaps the Austin, Texas brewery’s best-known creation. Intensely sour with funky elements and a predominant raspberry aroma and flavor, this flawless Fruit Lambic hits all the right spots for fruited sour beers. 


#21

95
by Pat Mulloy
The Scupper
Cape May Brewing Co.

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#20
gear-up.jpg

95
by Michael Bury
Frightened Baby Chipmunk
Call to Arms Brewing Co.

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Another excellently named concoction, Call to Arms Brewing in Denver, Colorado delivered a stellar Belgian-style sour beer with interesting intermingled wid elements, fruit characteristics atop a simple grain bill with very little hop incursions.


#19

95
by Jason Johnson
La Folie
New Belgium Brewing Company

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#18

95
by Richard Wong
Beatitude Mango
Council Brewing Co.

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When discussing Fruit Lambics, the usual options are Kriek (brewed with cherries) or Framboise (brewed with raspberries). Council Brewing Co. out of San Diego turned those nose up at this standard ingredients and decide a Mango Fruit Lambic was just what the world needed – according to our judge, they were not wrong.


#17

96
by Susan Ruud
pFriem Oud Bruin
pFriem Family Brewers

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#16

upland-malefactor-flanders-style.jpg

96
by Joseph Formanek
Malefactor
Upland Brewing Co.

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This Flanders Red from Bloomington, Indiana’s Upland Brewing Co. was aged in bourbon barrels that previously housed beer. Funky, fruity and complex, this sour beer is truly a delight to the senses from start to finish. 


#15

96
by Jason Johnson
Vintage 2013
Brouwerij Rodenbach

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#14

96
by Michael Heniff
Tartanium Berliner Weisse
Grist Brewing Co.

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#13

96
by Tracy Hensley
Expletus
Avery Brewing Co.

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Avery Brewing’s Barrel Aged Series is one of the most preeminent throughout all of craft beer. Though their extensive barrel collection is frequently used to craft mammoth barrel-aged stouts and porters, Expletus takes a more interesting and lesser ABV approach. A cherry-infused sour ale aged in tequila barrels, this zesty, tart, fruity brew is tantalizingly desirable. 


#12

96
by BC Review
Goudenband
Brouwerij Liefmans

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#11

96
by Sean Coughlin
Cursed Kettles
Upland Brewing Co. & Prairie Artisan Ales

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#10
rodenbach-fruitage-by-brouwerij-rodenbach.jpg

96
by James Link
Fruitage
Brouwerij Rodenbach

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Rodenbach’s first-ever canned beer (and one of four Roedenbach sours on this list) was a tremendous success in the U.S. and with good reason – as one of the highest-scoring beers of 2017, Rodenbach’s fruited dark sour beer was complex, lightly sweet and easily transportable. It also marked a terrific counterpoint to all the lighter summer sours that wanted to glom onto the “summer beer” trend.


#9
pogues-run.jpg

97
by Susan Ruud
Boxer's Revenge
Jester King Brewery 

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#8

97
by James Link
Rodenbach Vintage 2015
Brouwerij Rodenbach

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#7

97
by Jason Johnson
Alexander
Brouwerij Rodenbach

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An amazing rendition of a Flanders Red Ale, Rodenbach’s Alexander has only been brewed twice in history – the last time being 1999. A blend of 2/3rd Rodenbach aged two years in oak foeders and 1/3 young ale, this incredible brewing achievement features an intricate interplay of fruitiness, sourness and woodiness. An astonishing sour from one of the best sour beer breweries on the planet.


#6

97
by Susan Ruud
Ol' Oi
Jester King Brewery

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#5


97

by Josh Weikert
Wild Sour Series: Flanders Red
DESTIHL Brewery

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Flanders Red Ales are almost always bottled as opposed to canned, but that didn’t stop DESTIHL Brewery in Illinois from making one of our highest-rated sour beers of all time with its Wild Sour Series rendition of this traditional Belgian style. Sharp lactic sourness coupled and caramel and biscuit malts match up beautifully with bright fruit notes and a dry, wine-like finish. A striking sour beer in a strikingly designed beer can.


#4

98
by Jim Koebel
Oude Geuze Boon
Brouwerij Boon

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Our highest-rated beer of 2015 is the gold standard when it comes to the Gueuze style. Brouwerij Boon has long dominated the field when it comes to sour beers, and this transcendent rendition of the true “champagne of beers,” is a wonderful example of that brewing excellence.


#3

98
by Dan Martich
The Topsail
Cape May Brewing Co.

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Our top-rated beer of 2017 lives up to the hype and is the last of three sour beers from Cape May Brewing Co. on this list. An inviting aroma emits myriad scents of ripe pineapple, red apples, mangoes and ripe pears, and its flavor strikes a perfect chord between sourness and fruitiness. A refreshing sour beer that would pair well with chargrilled vegetables, a fruit plate or white-meat fish.


#2

99
by BC Review
Hanssens Oude Kriek
Hanssens Artisanaal

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This incredible Kriek from Hanssens Artisanaal in Belgium wafts aromas of ripe cherry, almonds and faint sourness after pouring a rusty, reddish-brown color. According to our review, this sour beer is “undoubtedly an epic brew that any self-respecting beer connoisseur should take great pains to acquire.” Sounds about right.


#1

ninkasi-n10.jpg

99
by John C. Tull
Frambozen
pFriem Family Brewers

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Here it is, our highest-rated sour beer of all time. pFriem Family Brewers in craft beer-soaked Hood River, Oregon hit the jackpot with this raspberry-infused sour, and the incredible balance between luscious raspberry flavors and complex sourness from wild yeast make this a truly world-class Fruit Lambic. If you can find this sour, don’t hesitate to get one to try immediately and one to age indefinitely. A masterclass in sour beer brewing.