With a gumball machine full of antacid, Beachwood BBQ’s SourFest is back this week, perpetuating the whole “odd years for odd beers” saying. It takes two years to fill their cellar for such an event, and my belly is atwitter with delight (and fear) looking at the six-day line up.
For a sour beer fan like myself (click here for our sour beer primer), the hardest part is picking a couple nights to attend. Tuesday, Local Brewers night showcases the best sours brewed and blended in our own backyard. Beers from Bruery Terreux, Highland Park, Kinetic, Monkish, Noble Ale Works, Phantom Carriage, Smog City and Craftsman will be featured at both Beachwood locations.
Wednesday in Long Beach, beers from Denver’s Crooked Stave will no doubt be furrowing many eyebrows; Nightmare on Brett, aged in Leopold Brothers Whiskey barrels, is my first choice, but if you have a hankerin’ for some tart cherry pie, Mama Bear’s Sour Berry Pie 15 is a close second—pairing it with steamed mussels would be mind-blowing.
Thursday? The renegades of funk at Anaheim’s Bruery Terreux are taking over both locations with some of my go-to favorite sours. Definitely try a vertical of ’12, ’13, ’14 Rueuze, Terreux’s take on a traditional Belgian Gueuze (three year Lambic blend). Other verticals available such as Oude Tart and Tart of Darkness are not to be missed. Suggested food pairing: Beauregard and lamb burger.
Thursday-Saturday, Beachwood has a complimentary shuttle that starts at 2 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m looping the Seal Beach and Long Beach locations every twenty minutes. The shuttle can fit eight passengers at any given time.
Friday at Long Beach, Maine’s Allagash Brewing Co. will have beers that don’t typically touch California soil. Go with a friend and grab all eight to share. Take selfies with funny puckered faces, hashtag #TheUltimateAcidTrip for good measure. Food pairing suggestion: Mattina Rossa with wild boar meatload with blueberry buttermilk gravy.
Saturday is all about the world of sour beers as the Shelton Brothers (importer) will be taking over both locations. Highlights include Cantillon, Boon, Drie Fonteinen, Freigeist, Jester King and Jolly Pumpkin. Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen are no doubt the inspiration for many American sour beer producers; a taste of their beers is essential.
Sunday is leftovers day, but don’t let that stop you from trying some sour beers you’ve never heard of. As SourFest has over 200 beers and happens every two years, your wallet and GI tract will have ample time to recover. Be sure to check out the master list, and let us know what you tried!
Don’t forget: What is a sour beer?