Sours Love Sours Continues...


Sour ales are light and sweet for summer sipping at Columbia breweries

By Hannah Wade

Picture this: it’s finally Friday. You’re at your favorite brewery in town. The temperature is a toasty 93 degrees, but that doesn’t matter because you’re sipping a refreshing, cold beer.

Whether you’re an IPA dude, through and through, or you lean towards sweet and crisp ciders, brewers around Columbia have the drink for all your summer needs.

″(We lean towards) really anything that’s not too heavy. We have a couple new IPAs. I think those kind of do well just year round, but we typically put on some brighter, kind of more summertime vibe type of fruited sours,” said Shaun Piggott, head brewer at Columbia Craft Brewing Company.

And while IPAs, also known as Indian Pale Ales, have gained popularity in the craft beer scene over the last decade or so, they’re actually, in my humble opinion, not the beer for this summer. 

For the next few weeks, you’ll find summertime fruited sour ales on the tap list of most breweries in the area. And after tasting offerings from six of the area’s breweries, I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re the perfect beer for a warm summer day — some of them have hints of juicy watermelon while others taste like a freshly baked pie.

Columbia Craft’s Key Lime Pie Sour Ale

This golden sour ale is a twist on Columbia Craft’s traditional sour ale — except that it has a distinct pie flavor.

The sour is brewed with vanilla and 12 pounds of key lime puree per barrel. Once brewers get the beer to the boiling stage of crafting the sour ale, they add in lactose, which sweetens and contrasts some of the high acidity from the sour itself as well as the key lime puree, according to Piggott.

The result is a golden, slightly sweet and tart sour ale that both tastes and smells like key lime pie. The tartness of the key lime flavoring combined with the sweet aromas and flavors of the vanilla and lactose make this an easy drink for the warm weather.

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