Summer is flying by, and with the cooler than average temperatures we have been experiencing here in Chicago (except for the last couple weeks), some might argue if it ever arrived at all. Yet I am not ready to turn in my Session IPAs and Hefeweissens for Browns and Porters. So, for this edition of The Style Guide we are going to explore Saisons, also know as the Farmhouse Ale. A beer historically brewed for summer farm laborers, the Saison is still bright and crisp as a summer beer should be, but brings a lot more complexity than some of the other season staples.
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.