New Beer Release: Black Currant Sour Beer

Black Currant Sour Beer from Rochester Brewing and RoastingBlack Currant Sour Beer now on tap at Rochester! Our kettle sour, fruited with black currant, boasts a ruby red hue. The natural tartness of black currant complements the sour base beer. It is refreshingly tart with a dry finish.


At one time, all beers were technically sour. Brewers relied exclusively on ambient wild yeasts and bacteria that produced an acidic brew. Bacteria like lactobacillus and others lent sours their distinctive tartness. It wasn’t until the 1800s, when brewer’s yeast was purified, that naturally occurring bacteria could be eliminated from the brewing process. This enabled brewers to create the milder flavored lagers and ales that gained popularity in America. European beer makers, however, never stopped using the wild fermentation process. These traditional sours didn’t gain traction in the US until the 1970s when Belgian fruited lambics grew in popularity.

Sour Beers

Unlike the typically sweet imported lambics from the 70s, most of today’s craft beer sours have retained their historic tartness. They are brewed with the deliberate introduction of lactobacillus. This is the same sugar-loving bacteria that centuries of brewers relied on to give sours their acidic flavor. It works by converting sugars to lactic acid and is the same live culture that occurs in unsweetened yogurt and sauerkraut.

The Process

Kettle sours are made by souring the wort in the brewing kettle before boiling and transferring to a vessel for full fermentation by a traditional yeast. Home brewers and craft breweries alike embrace kettle sour brewing because it’s faster and simpler than traditional sour beer production. Kettle sour ingredients include malted barley, malted wheat, hops, water, yeast and lactobacillus. Lactobacillus, added to the kettle after the brewing process, works for a couple of days. Then brewers heat the wort to pasteurize it and kill off any unwanted bacteria before transferring it to a fermentation vessel. When it comes to flavor, kettle sour beers range from mild and crisp to tart and sour, and many brewers decide to add fruit, spices or herbs to enhance the overall flavor profile. Common styles that use this method are Gose and Berliner Weiss.

Delicious and Accessible

Kettle sour beer’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years among home brewers and craft beer enthusiasts alike. This versatile beer offers varieties that can please virtually every palate. Our Black Currant Kettle Sour now on tap is very popular. Stop by our Crossroads or Parkville locations to give our new Black Currant Sour Beer or one of our other craft beers a try!

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