There was a time when most beers were sour. As the New Yorker reported in 2013, in the era before refrigeration and pasteurization, different strains of bacteria would creep into beers and give them tart flavors. On top of that, the science of fermentation and our understanding of yeast had only developed so much.
Beer has evolved into a cleaner and crisper drink now, but there are still sours being made, particularly in Belgium, and drinkers have made it a full-blown trend in recent years thanks to the complex flavor profiles being made. Some of these can be pretty funky and intense, but there’s plenty of sours that hit the right balance of sweetness and tartness while still tasting like, you know, beer.
To cap off its Belgian Beer Fest, Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point is hosting the 6th Annual Sour Day, boasting 70 different American sours on draft and 70 American sours in bottles (see a comprehensive list here). They will still have plenty of great Belgians from this past weekend’s festivities, too. Few places around Baltimore can offer a better overview.
Until 2 a.m., Max’s Taphouse, 737 S. Broadway, (410) 675-6297, maxs.com.