Photo by Charles Lam It's a beautiful beer
Let's get this out of the way: Sour beers can be kind of weird -- especially if you've never had them before. They're tart, they pucker your mouth, they're full-on sour, but they're also habit forming in a 10-year-old-with-Warhead-candy kind of way.
Rodenbach's 2011 Vintage Oak Aged Ale, available from Total Wine and other alcohol stores, is a perfect example of the Flemish red ale version of sour beer. From Bourwerij Rodenbach in Belguim, Vintage is surprisingly accessible to the first-time sour drinker. It guides you through the major characteristics of the style in steps. First with its a dark reddish brown pour and almost ivory-colored head; second with its distinctly acidic nose. At that point, you might be worried that it'll be too sour; that you're basically drinking vinegar, and you will definitely pucker on your first sip (especially if you're not ready).More »