By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Column: Not a fan of sours? One of these 5 beers may change your mind
09052020 BEER.jpg
Athena Paradiso with passion fruit and guava from Creature Comforts Brewing Co. - photo by Kelsey Podo

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard someone mention, “I don’t like sour beer.”

Sure, sour brews can oftentimes make your mouth pucker and raise the taste buds on your tongue. 

I understand this type of beer is not everyone’s cup of tea. And truth be told, I’m rarely in the mood for something that transforms my face into the Warheads candy logo. 

If you’re willing to give the style another chance, I strongly believe I can find a sour brew that you’ll not only enjoy, but regularly crave, especially on hot days. 

To help you out with this venture, I’ve compiled my top five gateway sour beers.

No. 5 Athena Paradiso (with passion fruit and guava)

Brewery: Creature Comforts Brewing Co. 

Alcohol by volume: 4.5% 

Style: Berliner weisse 

Bottom line: The quintessential summer beer

Crafted by Creature Comforts Brewing Co. in Athens, this wonderfully tropical Berliner weisse offers an easy-drinking, slightly tart beer. It’s the sort of drink you want to have while relaxing in your house, wishing you were on a beach. Athena Paradiso is like summer in a can. Coming in at 4.5% alcohol by volume, this brew is ridiculously refreshing and has a satisfying burst of fruit without slapping your taste buds with sourness. 

03082020 BEER 1.jpg
Pretoria Fields' Flowing Well gose - photo by Nick Bowman
No. 4 Flowing Well Gose

Brewery: Pretoria Fields

Alcohol by volume: 4.5%

Style: German-style gose

Bottom line: A refreshing, slightly salty and citrusy brew

Flowing Well is crisp and refreshing. It’s best enjoyed during the warmer months while you’re at Lake Lanier, hanging out on a boat or doing whatever leisurely activity normal people do in the summertime. 

This beer even passed the dad taste test. My dad is not the biggest fan of sours and is drawn mostly to wheaty German and Belgian-style brews. However, he was pretty enamored with Flowing Well. So, if you’re skeptical about this gose, take my malt-centric dad’s advice and abandon your preconceptions about sours. It’s truly a scrumptious and inoffensive beer.

05132021 BEER 1.jpg
Left Nut Brewing Co. created a house sour made with lactobacilli cultivated in the brewery. - photo by Kelsey Podo
No. 3 Left Nut Brewing Co.’s house sour

Brewery: Left Nut Brewing Co.

Alcohol by volume: 4.9%

Style: Sour brewed with lactobacilli 

Bottom line: Bright, slightly sour and refreshing

This house sour, which has yet to be named, is soft on the palate and doesn’t offer a mouth-puckering effect. It’s light, refreshing and tastes similar to Welch’s white grape juice, despite not containing any fruit. If you’re not one for sours, I encourage you to give this one a try the next time you visit Left Nut Brewing Co. You may change your mind on the style. 

05212021 BEER 2.jpg
Delirium Red is a bold Belgian fruit ale embracing notes of fresh cherries. Photo courtesy Susan Richardson
No. 2 Delirium Red

Brewery: Huyghe Brewery (headquartered in Belgium)

Alcohol by volume: 8%

Style: Beglain fruit ale

Bottom line: A delightful cherry explosion, but not the medicinal kind

You know how I converted my wine-loving mother to the dark side? I gave her Delirium Red, a Belgian fruit-forward and deliciously bold sour. Before, she turned her nose up to beer in general and thought it all tasted the same. Delirium Red has now lived in her fridge for the past few years, and I don’t see it leaving anytime soon. This brew is rich in fruitiness with notes of cherries, almonds and raspberries. I’ve found this imported beer in most liquor stores in the area, but call your local shop to make sure it’s there before you visit.

05212021 BEER 1.jpeg
Creature Comforts Brewing Co.'s Athena - photo by Kelsey Podo
No. 1 Athena

Brewery: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Alcohol by volume: 4.5%

Style: Berliner weisse

Bottom line: Forever my favorite sour beer. It doesn’t get better than this. 

When people ask me about my favorite beers, I never fail to mention Athena from Creature Comforts Brewing Co. This bright and refreshing brew was my first introduction to sours in 2015. It’s light, citrusy and holds a hint of sourdough bread flavor on the backend. I cannot recommend this one enough. Athena is a goddess among sour beers.

Regional events