American sour beer may very well be the fastest growing segment in the craft beer renaissance. Any brewery that is worth its weight in wort and wishes to remain relevant has a sour program.
These sour programs vary greatly in size. Many breweries stay away from sour beers for fear of contaminating there clean beers. Other breweries build entirely separate facilities to house their sour experimentations. In the case of today’s brewery, The Rare Barrel, they went full bore and started an all-sour brewery. I for one hope this is the start of a trend where we see many all-sour breweries popping up all over the nation.
The Rare Barrel is a relatively new brewery founded in 2013 by Jay Goodwin, Brad Goodwin, and Alex Wallash. Do not let the age of the brewery fool you. 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.
Home, Sour, Home glugs out of the heavy duty 750ml bottles with an air of lactic acid, cinnamon, and ample carbonation. If I didn’t know before hand that Home, Sour, Home was brewed with peaches I would still describe the look of the beer as a fuzzy peach, especially sitting in the shapely Spiegelau snifter.
Most sour beers can’t hold a head for long however Home, Sour, Home is an exception. A half finger white head with pink highlights releases a nose of mostly cinnamon with fresh peaches and a balancing sweetness that may be from the vanilla although I didn’t find it that distinctive to be able to say definitively that it was vanilla. Upon tasting the peach element becomes more prominent with the cinnamon still front stage and that sweetness cutting through the acidity helps to make the beer more palatable. The level of carbonation is perfect. It literally scrubs the palate and makes the beer feel incredibly light.