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A sour time had by all

Pucker up, buttercup!  Boulder SourFest 2011 @ Avery Brewing Co.
Pucker up, buttercup! Boulder SourFest 2011 @ Avery Brewing Co.
Tyler Burgei

The 2nd Annual Boulder SourFest at Avery Brewing Co.’s Tap Room & Barrel-Aging Cellars on June 11th was a great success. Featuring over 70 sour, funky, wild ales from breweries around the country, including a few that do not distribute to Colorado , SourFest catered to a sold-out crowd of over 400 beer lovers.

The unique part about the festival is that only – you guessed it – sour beers were available. No, not sour as in stale, flat, skunky beer; the beers featured are intentionally inoculated with wild yeast strains, such as brettanomyces and lactobacillus, in order to sour the beer to give it interesting notes of earthy, sour, and sometimes funky flavors. Admittedly, sour beers are not for everyone; some people consider the styles the final frontier of beer appreciation.

Some of the styles available included Saison (or “Farmhouse Ale”), Berliner Weisse, Flanders Red Ale and Oud Bruin, and different kinds of Lambic, among several others, including traditional styles, such as IPA and Stout, that had been soured. Additionally, many of the beers have been barrel-aged, adding even more dimension to the flavor and aroma. Indeed, many people were ticking away and writing short reviews for some of the extremely rare offerings.

Upon arrival, attendees were greeted with their complimentary glass snifter, a map showing the layout of the beer taps, and 16 tickets. Each ticket could be traded for a 2-3 ounce sample of any of the beers on tap or in bottles. Also available for purchase were T-shirts, posters, and food from local caterers. A live band provided additional entertainment in the largest tasting room.

Overall, the event was fun for all, not overly crowded, and a great way to meet fellow beer-lovers. It’s safe to say everyone is looking forward to next year!

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