Sour Beer 101: Brewing Tart, Funky, Dry and Flavorful Brews
Well-balanced blends of microorganisms and cultures create flavors unlike any other when added at the right time in the beer brewing process. I'm referencing, of course, the science of brewing sour beer. This traditional, smaller batch brewing process has been picking up momentum in the last few years.
We met up with Adam Thomas, director of barrel operations at MobCraft Beer, in MobCraft's Wild & Sour Barrel Room to learn more about the brewery's Wild & Sour Beer Program.
Not all "wild" beers (brewed with wild yeast strains) are sour, though most sour beers have wild yeast in them. MobCraft uses common souring bacteria including lactobacillius and pediococcus to bring out acidic, candy-like flavors and aromas like Sweet Tarts or Warheads. Those cultures, in combination with wild yeast strains like Brettanomyces, are what produce the flavors unique to MobCraft's Wild & Sour beers.
The flavor profile of the beer is also boosted through barrel aging. The beer is typically barrel-aged for between three and 18 months but some projects run as long as three years. Barrel aging slows the oxidation process. The history of the barrel will impact the flavor of the beer as it ages and also bring oak tannins to the end product.
All of MobCraft's sour beers get bottle conditioned before they are released to market, making them suitable for further aging.
Some of the ongoing projects happening in the Wild & Sour Barrel Room include:
- Sour on the Vine will have grapes added before packaging.
- Sour Cherry Candy Sour, a recent crowdsource winner, is the brewery's first lactobacillus ferment.
- A batch of Existence, a barrel-aged Belgian-style sour ale
- Gentlemen S-Tart Your Engines, another crowdsource winner scheduled for release in late 2017
The MobCraft taproom is open seven days a week. There are 25 beers on tap and several beers available for purchase to-go. Stop by to give them a try and stay tuned to ShepherdExpress.com/MobCraft for more updates.
Over the next few months we will continue to take a look inside the Walker’s Point brewery and taproom to get a behind the scenes look at everything from their brewing process, packaging, special events and, of course, the crowd sourcing approach to turning your ideas into beer.
The Brewery Series is brought to you by MobCraft Beer.