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Breaking Bad is my favorite TV show on air right now. After a little over a year after Season 3 ended Season 4 is back on! It’s A+ quality television, catch it if you can. So…why am I referencing a TV show on a sour beer blog and what the hell does this term “Breaking Bad” even mean? For the most part it means “To go wild, challenge convention, to defy authority.” I thought that’s a good way to sum up sour beers! Beer styles that have “Broke Bad” Beers that say “Awww your 300 bittering ibus are cute, now deal with some acidity and dont cry about it Mr. Hophead.”

Tonight I sampled a 2009 La Folie sour brown ale from New Belgium and my latest bottled homebrew sour ….a Flanders Brown/Oud Bruin. 

Anyone who knows me personally knows how much love I have for sour browns. Liefman’s Goudenband was the first sour beer I ever tried and I was hooked. Hard to believe I discovered this style in the 2000’s at a small bottle shop in Johnson City, TN!

The La Folie is a capped 22oz and not a corked bottle, I can tell you it seems to have has changed in the 2 years it was stored at 58 degrees. Even though New Belgium has said they flash pasteurize the beer after it leaves the oak. It seems to have a drier finish now. The dark cherry flavors seem to be more pronounced now, but still back up nicely to the oak. It was starting to pick up a sherry flavor, which I enjoy in older browns. I have a few bottles of 2010  in the cellar I might should have done a side by with this one on, but it’s a moot point now.

Next up was the Flanders Brown I brewed in February 2010. Originally I had 10 gallons of this recipe. Due to the great flood of May 2010 I lost half the batch when one of the fermentors fell over. The carboy that had this batch happen to be sitting about 3 feet higher and was never touched by the water. I finally bottled the batch about 3 weeks ago. Pretty basic original recipe:

1.058 OG, 22 ibus with Hallertauer

  • 65% Pilsner
  • 15% Cara Munich 80
  • 10% Caravienna
  • 5% Maize
  • 5% Special B

Wyeast 3763 Roeselare Blend

Mashed at 155, 90 minute boil, Fermented 3 weeks primary then secondary glass carboy for 17 months.

I’m loving how this one turned out. Next time I will probably mash at 156 or even 157 to keep a little bit more malt character in it. I dunno, I am kinda torn on that one. We will see this winter. But the aroma is a definite raisin, black cherry, some slight toffee. As far as funk in the aroma, I get some of the typical brett traits but mostly leather and earthy.

The flavor is what I am loving albeit on the sour dry side of a sweet malt vs sour mix. Black cherries, plum, and fig. Acidic lacic on the back end.

A great night…awesome intense episode of Breaking Bad with some beers that have Broke Bad.