4 Best Sour Beers You Can Get at the Grocery Store

The best sour beers are tart—but not too tart. A few years ago breweries started some sort of sour beer competition in which they all tried to out-sour each other, much in the same way a couple years earlier they had tried to out-hops each other with ultra bitter IPAs. Drinking sours became challenging. And, unsurprisingly, people stopped drinking them as much. But good sours do exist—sours that balance tartness with hops and malt and all those other good beer flavors. So, I set out to find the best sour beers still available at the grocery store. 

Let’s get this out of the way: There are not a lot of widely available sour beers on the market. I’m sure there are some great sours in your local area. But I don’t live in your local area. I live in a big box grocery store in Anytown, U.S.A.—or at least that’s the idea of this website. So the pool of popular sour beers was small. But I still managed to find four of the best sour beers that I would put up against the small batch local sour from the brewery down the street from you.

I looked for sour beers that were actually sour (a couple that we tried were good beers, but definitely not tart enough) and actually tasted like beer (not soda). Here are the best classic sour beers and best fruity sour beers available to almost anyone in the country.


Victory Sour Monkey Tripel

Best Boozy

Victory Sour Monkey Tripel

If you want a great Belgian-style sour that’s both more widely available and easier to pronounce than Belgian-style sours from the actual country of Belgium, this is the best sour beer for you. But make sure you’ve had something to eat first for a little padding, since it comes in at 9.5% ABV. It’s very classically sour but instead of a fruity backbone, it leans into a more traditional ale flavor. It’s definitely hefty and almost syrupy thanks to the high alcohol content. Pace yourself.

Credit: Merc / Total Wine

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Modern Times Fruitlands

Best Fruity

Modern Times Fruitlands

Though it advertises itself as a tropical gose (a gose is a type of sour brewed with a touch of salt) made with passion fruit and guava, I detected more of a raspberry scent on the nose. Take a sip, though, and you’ll be hit with that tart, tropical fruit. It. is. juicy. So juicy. And it is quite sour. It has a twang that lasts and makes your mouth water. It gives you the shivers as it hits the sides of your tongue. If you’re looking for the best fruited sour beer, look no further.

Credit: Merc / Total Wine

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Dogfish Head SeaQuench

Best Limey

Dogfish Head SeaQuench

This is an important beer for me. It introduced me to goses, which are still some of my favorite beer styles. It showed me that craft style beers could still be gulppable—that you still be a cool beer kid with a sessionable brew. I could finally merge the two sides of my beer-loving self: the Keystone Light-guzzling frat party goer and the hops-loving beer snob. So that’s why I love it. But why should you think it’s one of the best sour beers? It’s brewed with black limes (dehydrated Persian limes), lime juice, and sea salt, and it tastes like a gosh darn beach. It has a touch of sweetness to it—almost like Rose’s Lime cordial, which gives it a hint of Margarita flavor. It’s perfect for day drinking, whether you’re a beer pro or still holding tight to your Natty Light past.

Credit: Merc / Drizly

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Brooklyn Bel Air

Best of the Best

Brooklyn Bel Air

As much as I love SeaQuench, Brooklyn Brewery’s Bel Air can’t be beat. It’s an easygoing sour with just the right amount of tartness. It gives you a sour fix without blowing out your palate. And check out that can—how pretty is that? It perfectly reflects the flavor of the beer. That design is like a Palm Springs pool party and sipping the brew takes you there. It’s a warm sunny day in heart-shaped sunglasses and a big floppy hat, sunning by a crystal blue pool. More specifically, it has a tart guava flavor that mingles with the classic Brooklyn ale flavors. It’s the best sour beer and you can get it almost anywhere by the case!

Credit: Merc / Drizly

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other sour beers we tried: Ommegang Rosetta, Odell Brewing Sippin Pretty Fruited Sour, Sierra Nevada Wild Little Thing


About the Author

Justine Sterling

Justine Sterling is the editor-in-chief of Sporked. She has been writing about food and beverages for well over a decade and is an avid at-home cook and snacker. Don’t worry, she’s not a food snob. Sure, she loves a fresh-shucked oyster. But she also will leap at whatever new product Reese’s releases and loves a Tostitos Hint of Lime, even if there is no actual lime in the ingredients.

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  • The best sour beer available is :Let’s Kill the Pain ” by Blanch & Blade brewing.

    Reply
  • Would recommend Westbrook Gose for future sour sampling

    Reply