When the summer temps reach their hottest, thirst quenching becomes a priority.
While most of my beer-brethren are asking for the latest flavor of a summer shandy, my request goes to a different section of the beer list. One that you may not even know exists – the sour beers.
Let’s deal with the first idea in your mind. Yes, there is such a thing as a sour beer. Just like pancakes can be savory and ice cream can be served with balsamic vinegar. I know, I’m stretching our collective beer stereotype by knowing these things. But consider this; one of the latest hip cocktail styles is the shrub, which contains vinegar. I’m not sure why that’s a thing, cocktails are Eva’s thing.
The king of sour beers is Petrus. In my opinion, Petrus is best enjoyed in Clink Barware’s Alta Pilsner glass. Its graceful shape is a nice alternative to the more common, straight-sided version. The taper is designed to showcase the beauty of rising carbonation, while highlighting the golden color.
On to the second question that no doubt is in your head: Sour beer as a thirst quencher? Yes, you can keep your Dos Equis for when you want to stay thirsty, my friends. If you want to quench that thirst, go sour. Studies show that a drink with a higher acidity does a better job of quenching thirst, especially a sour beer that gets its particular form of acidity from bacteria.
At the end of the day, even if it isn’t about thirst quenching, the Petrus Aged Pale is a beer you should get to know. Petrus Aged Pale has a longer fermentation time, lasting two years. While it sits in large oak barrels, microorganisms break down the sugars into acids, alcohol, and esters and the permeable wood allows a very slow, controlled oxidation. This is the flagship of all sours. If your level of sour appreciation isn’t as intense, Petrus makes a few other beers that blend aged Pale with younger, less sour beers. Petrus Old Bruin may be a safe option if you are risk averse but still want to try it out.
It’s a great addition to your summer drink repertoire. Stay quenched, my friends.
And because summer should be just as fun as it relaxing, here’s a little twist to impress friends at your next BBQ. Create a menu that has strong sour tones: Vinegar-based BBQ sauce, Cole slaw, Salt & Vinegar Chips, and of course Petrus Sour Ale. Halfway through the meal, give everyone a Miracle Berry tablet. The natural miracle berry extract reverses your taste receptors and temporarily makes everything that is sour taste sweet. Your tangy East Carolina-style BBQ suddenly tastes more like a sweet Kansas City-style BBQ. Because your taste buds will revert back to normal after about 45 minutes, the only lasting impact will be the stories your friends tell about the experience.