7 best sour beers to try
Similar in taste to cider or natural wine, sour beers make for the perfect summer refresher. Here we've collated our best tangy, tart and fruity sours for you to enjoy
Looking for the best sour beers? Read our guide below, then check out our favourite British beers, lagers and craft beers. Plus, read all about the best stouts to buy and make one of our best beer cocktails.
What is sour beer?
Unlike the bitter, hop-driven beers that most people drink, a sour beer is more similar in taste to cider or natural wine. Sour beers use a mixture of yeasts and bacteria that result in a distinctively sour taste. Methods vary: some brewers will use cultivated yeasts, while Belgian lambics are left in open vats and rely on microorganisms in the air to ferment the beer. 'Sours' is a broad category and flavours range from the briny tang of gose and light tartness of a Berliner weisse to the fruitiness of a Flanders red ale, or the bone-dry, champagne-like fizz of gueuze.
Best sour beers to try at a glance
- Best tropical sour beer: Vault City Triple Fruited mango, £3.50/440ml
- Best gooseberry sour beer: Magic Rock Salty Kiss Gooseberry Gose, £2.29/330ml
- Best Belgian sour beer: Oude Gueuze Vieille Oud Beersel, £6.75/375ml
- Best higher-strength sour beer: Wild Beer Co. Modus Operandi, £7.99/500ml
- Best non-sweet option: Thornbridge Brewery Love Among the Ruins, £7/375ml
- Best berry flavoured sour beer: Vault City strawberry sundae, £3.50/440ml
- Best Scottish sour beer: Holy Goat and Fierce Beer Terrorizer, £6.90/375ml
7 best sour beers to try in 2023
Vault City Triple Fruited Mango
- Available from Tesco (£3.50/440ml)
Best tropical sour beer
A fresh, juicy sour, rammed with mango flavour and aromas, gentle tanginess and a slightly saline edge.
Magic Rock Salty Kiss Gooseberry Gose
- Available from Magic Rock Brewing (£2.50/330ml), £2.29/330ml
Lightly sour and tart with a briny edge and juicy gooseberry flavours.
Magic Rock Brewing (£2.50/330ml)
Oude Gueuze Vieille Oud Beersel
- Available from The Belgian Beer Co. (£6.75/375ml
Best Belgian sour beer
A blend of lambics, this has great effervescence and a fruity, complex tartness.
The Belgian Beer Co. (£6.75/375ml
Wild Beer Co. Modus Operandi
- Available from Wild Beer Co (£7.99/500ml)
Best higher-strength sour beer
A barrel-aged sour red with lots of berry flavours.
Wild Beer Co (£7.99/500ml)
Thornbridge Brewery Love Among the Ruins
- Available from Thornbridge Brewery (£7/375ml)
Best non-sweet option
Thought that all fruit beers were sweet? Think again. This poetically named Flemish-style sour beer won gold at the World Beer Cup Awards in 2016 and it's not hard to see why. Aged in Burgundy wine barrels with morello cherries for more than a year, this bottle delivers vivid fruit flavours combined with a punchy sourness. Complex and elegant.
Thornbridge Brewery (£7/375ml)
Vault City Strawberry Sundae
- Available from Vault City (£3.50/440ml)
Best berry sour beer
A smooth and full-bodied strawberry sour made with Scottish strawberries. Drink with mac ’n’ cheese topped with pulled pork for a contrast, or to complement a dessert such as eton mess.
Vault City (£3.50/440ml)
Holy Goat and Fierce Beer Terrorizer
- Available from Holygoat Beer (£6.90/375ml)
Best Scottish sour beer
Made in Dundee, this complex barrel-aged blackcurrant sour is a blend of 50% golden sour beer aged in a tank for six months (brewed at Holy Goat), plus a 50% rye sour aged in barrels for more than two years at Fierce Beer brewery in Aberdeen. Enjoy with steak, game, brie or chocolate.
Holygoat Beer (£6.90/375ml)
Best British beers
Best lagers to try
Best craft beers
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