Once a style of beers only consumed by the most elite beer nerd, shared with reverence in private bottle shares and hidden in the back of particular bottle-shops “in the know”. Sour beers have seen a big resurgence internationally and are gaining in popularity throughout Australia.
We talked in our last post about how sour beers can be a great way to get non-beer drinkers to try something new and different. So if you want to convert a few mates or want to start to crack a few sours but don’t know where to start. Here is a list of a few Australian sour beers that you should get your hands on.
Feral Brewing – Watermelon Warhead
The beer that really kicked off the Aussie sour movement. There were other breweries producing sour beers before Feral but this is the one that for many was the first that they tried. Watermelon Warhead is as you guessed it a Watermelon Berliner Weiss. First released at GABS festival in 2012. Named after the sour Warheads lollies that any 90’s kid will remember the beer is fermented and soured in Chardonnay barrels sourced locally from the Swan Valley near the brewery. Local Swan Valley Watermelons are then juiced and added to the beer.
Watermelon Warhead is not bottled although there have been rumours for years that it will happen at some point, so can be sometimes a little tricky to track down. But if you keep an eye out on Untapped you will see it pop up quite regularly.
Batch Brewing Co – Various
Batch Brewing Co is another brewery that has led the charge in bringing sour beers to the thirsty drinkers in Australia. As is the ethos at Batch they are all about releasing small batches of beers that change all the time. But they have had a big focus on kettle soured beers. They brew the Chapeau sour raspberry ale to celebrate their birthday every year in December. This year has seen a development of their Hip Hop inspired fruit sours that in typical Batch style has been rotating depending on what fruits are in season.
Some highlights of Batch’s sours beers this year have been:
These days Batch normally have at least one sour beer on offer at their cellar door and for takeaway.
Two Metre Tall – Various
Located on the Banks of the Derwent River in Tasmania. Ashley Huntington has been brewing farmhouse and sour beers since 2008. A man way ahead of his time Ashley was producing beers that would take many people many years to appreciate and understand. With his background in Winemaking Ashley utilised winemaking techniques to produce his range of sour and farmhouse ales. The Two Metre Tall Sour Ales are seasonal releases so if you see them grab em. The Sour Ale and Sour Cherry are well worth the price tag. Also available is the Derwent Aromatic Spelt Ale as part of their River range which can be easier to find.
Willie the Boatman – Old Salty Gose
Open since 2015 the boys at Willie the Boatman have joined the list of great Sydney Inner West Breweries. The Old Salty is a Gose, Originating from Germany the Gose style in known for it’s 50% Wheat bill and the addition of Salt to the beer. The Old Salty is light and refreshing the right amount of salt without going over the top. It’s a great entry point to sour beers.
Recently Willie the Boatman has released a few variants of their Gose with different fruit additions. The Rockmelon Gose is worth a try if you can get your hands on it.
With your sour beer shopping list set. You and your mates will be well on your way to sour beer geekdom. As with the rest of the Australian beer scene, our options for sour beers are ever increasing with new beers and breweries opening every day. So by no means is this a definitive list but it will get you on your way.