Watching a video the first time a baby tries a lemon always makes me smile. That immediate, reflexive pucker and confused expression not quite sure if they like this new mysterious taste or not. For me, there’s no confusion. I love lemons and anything sour. I’ll still pucker up on occasion if the flavor is extremely sour but it’s one of my favorites.
While my go to movie candy is milk duds, sour patch kids is a close second. I can finish off the whole bag during the opening credits of the movie. I’m not proud of that fact. It’s why I only buy them occasionally.
So, it’s no surprise that my favorite craft beer is sour. Fortunately, there is an abundance of amazing options available in Maine for sour loving girls like me.
Below are five of my favorite local sours:
Allagash Brewing Company. 50 Industrial Way, Portland, Maine. Little Sal. (Sour ale brewed with blueberries and aged in wine barrels.)
Description from the Allagash website: “To make Little Sal, we add wild, lowbush blueberries to sour red barrel-aged ale. The resulting beer is dark violet in color, with earthy aromas of blueberry and oak. Its flavor is juicy, tart, and unmistakably blueberry: a true taste of Maine.”
While Allagash White is my favorite craft beer, they also make delicious sours too. Check out their website for a great description of wild beers versus sours. My favorite sour that they make is their limited release made with Maine blueberries, Little Sal.
Austin Street Brewery. 1 Industrial Way #8, Portland, Maine. Obsolete Vernacular. (Sour blonde ale with fruit.)
Description from the Austin Street website: “This light and ultimately refreshing sour blonde ale benefits from the addition of organic pineapple and mango puree. The nose provides predictable notes of the aforementioned fruit, as well as hints of citrus and bread crust. The body is light, yet satisfying, and the finish is wonderfully tart without being overpowering.”
This brewery has a couple of locations. I’m partial to their recently opened Fox Street tasting room with a modern, industrial vibe that is warm and inviting. Their original location is good too and they host some fun events like trivia nights. We went there recently for a doggy manners class. We’re working with our new puppy to be sure he’s craft brewery ready this summer.
Oxbow. 49 Washington Ave, Portland, Maine. Plum Synth. (Blended farmhouse ale with plums.)
Description from the Oxbow website: “Plum Synth is a blend of barrel-aged and stainless-aged mixed-fermentation farmhouse ales aged on Italian plums.”
Our first stamp on our Maine Beer Trail map was for Oxbow Brewing and it was also the first place I ever tried sour beers. They have some really rich, nuanced sour options and it’s no surprise that they started me on the path of loving sour beers. They’re one of my favorite stops for sour beer. At our most recent visit, I actually had dark beer. This made my husband so proud, as I tend to lean towards lighter beers. In truth, I think the plums just made it dark, but we’ll let my husband think I drank a dark beer.
Foundation Brewing Company. 1 Industrial Way #5, Portland, Maine. Pomology, Cherry. (Golden sour ale.)
Description from the Foundation website: “Pomology is a series of beers that explore the interplay of fruit and beer. We added both sour and sweet cherries to a base of golden, sour ale and allowed the beer to ferment a second time and age on oak. Pouring a brilliant red, bright cherry aromas and flavors.”
Another local neighborhood stop with some great sour options. They offered a sour gift pack over Christmas that our daughter gave to my husband as a gift. He was kind enough to share. They were all delicious.
Fore River Brewing. 45 Huntress Avenue, South Portland, Maine. Preble, Raspberry. (Mixed fermentation sour beer.)
Description from the Fore River website: “Raspberry, lemon, fruity, with some cherry, cereal with florals, and pie crust.“
Their preble beer actually comes in a variety of sour flavors. We tried their tart cherry version recently. They released it for their fourth birthday celebration a few months ago. This is one of my favorite brewery spots for sours. They have a ton and they’re all amazing. We’ve actually done sour tasting flights here. You can’t go wrong with that! Plus, you can buy it by the keg for your next celebratory event.
If you’re not a fan of sours, I’ve blogged about other craft beers before in a previous A to Z Challenge: F is for Flight Deck Brewing | We love (really love) our craft beer in Maine.
The recent pandemic and resulting closures has hit small businesses especially hard. While our local breweries have had to close down their tasting rooms, many of them moved to curbside pickup or delivery. These new options allow us to maintain our social distancing protocols while still enjoying delicious craft beer. Last week, my husband and I stopped by a few of our local breweries and picked up beer to go. We even discovered some new sours to try from Yes Brewing.
We supported other businesses by purchasing gift certificates or making online purchases. We love our local breweries, restaurants, artisans and retail stores and want to help them however we can during this challenging time. They’re one of many the reasons we love living in Maine.
Why does this bring me bliss? We have been slowly working our way through the Maine Beer Trail. Each weekend, my husband and I pick a destination somewhere in Maine to explore. We go on a hike and stop into the local brewery afterwards. It’s a fun, relaxing thing for us to do together but I’m not a huge beer fan. Finding sours has been a game changer. They are wonderful, complex, and unique, and I look forward to trying new varieties. The entire road trip from the hike to the celebratory sour beer brings me bliss.
Do you enjoy craft beer? Do you have a favorite?
I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2020. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Bliss. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.