Coaltrain's 2011 Sour Beer Tasting

Last night Coaltrain Wine and Spirits held their annual Sour Beer Tasting at The Warehouse. There was a good turnout but the event was not sold out which surprised me given the theme of this dinner. There were three welcome beers which included Rockyard Rockweisser Berlinerweiss, Victory Helios, and Anchorage Whiteout Wit Bier. All three were solid starter beers, light and refreshing. Then the first course appeared of four additional sours paired with a cod dish. The beers included Crooked Stave Pure Guava Petite Sour, Vandberg and Dewulf Lambrucha, Ommegang Aphrodite, HaandBryeriet Haandbakk, and Ichtegem's Grand Cru. The HaandBryeriet Haandbakk really stood out in this flight. It was very acidic and had notes of tart cherries. Yum! This was the first beer in more than one hundred years made in Norway using wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The second course came with five more sours paired with a baked ziti pasta dish. The last five sours were definitely the crowd pleasers and included De Ranke Kriek, 2008 Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek, De Oude Cam Oude Lambiek ($37 a bottle!), Timmermans Oude Gueze, and Brewery Stubbe Lambickx. This flight give the palate a challenge in that all were very acidic, flavorful, and had the classic barnyard horse blanket aromas and flavors that sour fans covet. It was hard to pick a winner from this flight, but it sure was fun sampling the rare and renown Cantillon.
Overall, the event was a hit. The credit goes to Austin, the manager and beer buyer, who stores these great beers every year just for this event. The other employees at Coaltrain also did a great job serving the beers and answering any questions. The food pairings could have been better with possibly one more additional course, but that's not the real reason one comes to a sour beer tasting. The beers were fantastic, and it was a rare treat to sample 12 in one sitting. I recommend signing up early next year because I don't think next year will have an open seat!

Also, Coaltrain will soon have a Barrel-Aged beer tasting soon, so stay tuned for that. 
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BeerEric Steen