The Rare Barrel is a relatively new brewery founded in 2013 by Jay Goodwin, Brad Goodwin, and Alex Wallash. Jay Goodwin earned his stripes as brewer and head of the barrel aging program for The Bruery and since founding The Rare Barrel have won several awards at various competitions for their blends of sour beer. Recently at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival, the Rare Barrel earned two new medals to add to their trophy room. A silver medal for Ensorcelled, and a bronze medal for Apropos of Nothing.
The craft beer industry is filled with countless success stories of people throwing caution to the wind and chasing their dreams. Generally against the wishes of family and friends home brewers across the country have been risking it all, often leaving other careers or hard earned college degrees, to open up their areas newest craft brewery. Oregon's Paul Arney is a perfect example of this.
Only opening four years ago, Wicked Weed has already made a name for itself in the brewing world, focusing on wild ales and hoppy west coast ales. Two friends, Walt and Luke, dreamed it up while they were drinking beer, of course. They brought in a good friend, Ryan Guthy and his parents, to join in on the vision and in a mountain house in North Carolina Wicked Weed was officially born. After a few months a space was found and the brewery was built out.
If you spend a few minutes perusing through any of the craft beer forums you will most likely come across a thread about having to pick your favorite brewery or pick your desert island brewery. For me it has always been a fairly easy question. Over the years I have become quite the fanboy for Firestone Walker and once they opened Barrelworks in 2013 it sealed the deal for me. With beers like Sucaba, Parabola and its anniversary series, Firestone Walker has set the bar pretty high so the idea of them producing sour beers really got me irrationally excited.
When it comes to sour beers, Belgian lambics are widely-regarded as king.
Lambic brewing is a Belgian tradition dating back hundreds or even thousands of years and is considered the oldest surviving commercial brewing style in the world. The beer is made by taking the hot wort and allowing it to cool over night exposed to the open air. There is a roughly 500-square-mile area that includes Brussles, Belgium and Payottenland that has the right mixture of airborne spores that are needed to create the flavors a true lambic consistently.