Many beer geeks have spent the last couple years frequently pontificating that sour beers are the “next IPA”. I think this is an incredible over-statement, while many sour beer styles have increased in popularity and production they still have a long way to go to catch up to the volume and selection provided by the hop bombs. I still have mixed feelings on sour beer styles (just to clarify “sour” isn’t a style, it’s a flavor that can be found in many different styles of beer). I’ve really enjoyed some complex wild ales and other styles where the tartness complements other flavors, I am still put off by the beers that pucker your tongue without anything to offset the sour flavor. One intriguing, and in no way surprising, newer trend is dry-hopped sour beer styles. The citrus and tropical fruit flavors and aromas from New World hop varieties in particular can provide an interesting counterpoint to the acidity in many sour styles. One example I sampled recently is The Wind from Lost Nation Brewing in Morristown, VT. Lost Nation brews a variety of styles with a focus on less-appreciated European classics. One of their best known beers is their Gose, a traditional tart German style brewed with salt and coriander. The Wind is a version of this gose brewed with grapefruit and dry-hopped with Citra hops.
Lost Nation The Wind pours a hazy bright yellow with a massive white head. The scent is mostly citrus hops and grapefruit. The flavor is more complex. The grapefruit is well represented and the hops add notes of orange, lemon and lime. This complements the mild tart bite from the fermentation along with a subtle salinity that is unique to the gose style. A light malt backbone rounds out the flavor with hints of wheat bread and crackers. The Wind is light, easy to drink and sessionable at 4.5% ABV. The finish is crisp, dry and refreshing, a perfect beer for the last warm days before the cold weather returns. I am still a little wary of mixing hoppy and sour beers, but this beer definitely works. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.