Central City Sour Brown I
Belgian style sour brown ale aged for two years in Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrels and Central City Brewers + Distillers is ringing in 2016 with a big splash with the unveiling of their highly anticipated sour beer – Sour Brown I Barrel Aged Sour Ale. A hot, burgeoning style of craft beer, Central City’s Sour Brown I (9.2% ABV) is a traditional Belgian style sour brown ale aged for two years in a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrels and French oak foeders. Its flavour is malty sweet with a balanced acidic finish with barnyard hay notes. “We decided on a sour beer program when this brewery was first designed because we feel that sour beer is a relevant style for a craft brewery,” says Gary Lohin, Central City’s renowned Brewmaster. “We decided to use the Belgian method of souring the beers since it is the birthplace of this style, and used various yeast cultures to produce the unique and notable flavours, and aged them for two years in the Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrels and French oak foeders. The result is a complex flavour that balances the sour notes with a melodic malty character.”
The sour red/brown beers of Flanders can be considered as two different styles, or two ends of a single style continuum, depending on how you choose to view the issue. They are a clearly–defined sour ale subtype, one with strong historical traditions. Their character blends rich malt with tartness, and usually some fruity character as well. Oak aging is common in the traditional production of the style and therefore is often evident in the character. Many examples are also aged on fruit. At the red end of the style, the classic is Rodenbach at the brown end it is Liefmans, and there are several very good examples in between.