Today the term 'sour beer' is almost as broad a term as 'ale' or 'lager.' The scope of styles includes the 1000-year-old styles in Belgium like Lambic, Gueuze, and Flanders Red. Or the refreshingly tart German Berliner Weisse and Gose. And then there are the American sour, sometimes referred to as wild ales, that took traditional styles and made them their own. Regardless of where your beer is coming from, sour beers are becoming part of many breweries' portfolios, and there are even a few breweries popping up in the States solely dedicated to the puckering drafts.
It is no secret that the IPA is the poster child for the American craft beer renaissance. Nearly every craft brewery and brew pub has an IPA in its core lineup, many have a couple more. The IPA is the macro beer drinkers gateway into the full flavored world of craft beer.
While it was originally created by the British to survive the long sea voyages to India (the additional hops were added as a preservative to combat the less than favorable storage conditions of the ships hulls), it has been American craft brewers that have claimed the IPA as its own, and made it the most popular craft style. Then in good ol' American fashion they took something that was already great and pushed it to its bigger and stronger.
For the first edition of THR Style Guide we looked at the Marzen, a beer as rich in history as it is in flavor. With episode two we dig into another style with a story to tell, the Porter. Along with the styles history, we will also examine the many different styles within the style, and offer you a few suggestions to help you the next time you are in your local bottle shop. And perhaps by looking at the Porter in so many different ways we will finally be able to tell the difference between a Stout and a Porter.