Are sours ales or lagers?

Answered by Jason Smith

Sour beers can actually be either ales or lagers. The term “sour beer” refers to a style of beer that has intentionally been made with bacteria or wild yeast, which gives it a sour taste. These bacteria and yeast strains are typically added during the fermentation process.

Both ales and lagers can be used as the base for sour beers. Ales are fermented at warmer temperatures using top-fermenting yeast strains, while lagers are fermented at cooler temperatures using bottom-fermenting yeast strains. The choice of base beer depends on the brewer’s preference and the desired flavor profile.

Belgian saisons, on the other hand, are a specific type of ale. Saisons, also known as farmhouse ales, originated in the French-speaking region of Belgium and were traditionally brewed during the cooler months for consumption by farm workers during the summer. They are characterized by their fruity and spicy flavors, high carbonation, and refreshing nature.

While both sour beers and saisons can be refreshing and highly carbonated, they have distinct flavor profiles. Sour beers tend to have a tart or acidic taste, which can range from mildly tangy to intensely sour. This sourness is a result of the bacteria or wild yeast used in the brewing process. On the other hand, saisons typically have a more balanced flavor profile with fruity and spicy notes, and they are generally not as puckery as sour beers.

It is worth noting that there is a wide range of sour beers available, with different levels of sourness and complexity. Some sour beers may have additional flavors added, such as fruit or spices, which can further enhance their taste.

In my personal experience, I have tried both sour beers and saisons and enjoyed them for different reasons. Sour beers can be a fun and adventurous choice, with their unique flavors and acidity. They can be a great option for those looking for something different and exciting in their beer choices. Saisons, on the other hand, are a classic style that offers a refreshing and more approachable taste. They are perfect for enjoying on a warm summer day or pairing with a variety of foods.

Sour beers can be either ales or lagers, while saisons are specifically ales. Sour beers tend to have a tart taste, while saisons are characterized by fruity and spicy flavors. Both styles offer a refreshing and highly carbonated drinking experience, but the level of sourness can vary. Ultimately, the choice between sour beers and saisons comes down to personal preference and the desired flavor profile.