Monday, April 20, 2009

Must. Have. Sour. Beer.

A few weeks ago Mrs Elliott and I were in Portland. She had a conference downtown to attend for a few days, I tagged along and ambled around. I came across Bailey's Taproom and settled down at the bar to sample some of their 20 or so ales and beers.

Like Bend, they didn't have anything interesting in a dry stout, but one ale caught my eye: Cascade Brewing Company's Moutin Rouge, a "flanders red" or sour Belgian style ale. Perhaps aka oud bruin ale.

The bartender warned me that I might find it a little off-putting because sour ale is nothing like most people have never had.

I had to try it.

The first sip was a surprise. The second . . . well, the second was kind of nice. Sour and tangy, with a crisp, slightly bitter finish. By the time the third sip was down the hatch, I was hooked.

And the taste was kind of familiar . . . what was that? Oh -- kombucha, the fermented non-alcholic beverage available at some food stores around town as well as at Townshend's Tea. Kombucha gets its sourness mainly from lactic acid through a fermentation process. Like sour sourdough.

And apparently Belgian sour beers.

I like kombucha, sourdough, and sour ales.

Unfortunately, no one in Bend has a sour on tap nor sells it in bottles. I tried the Brew Shop on Division with no luck. And Newport Market has none.

Bend is in beervana, innit?

Trent in Newport's beer and wine section told me that he personally likes sours, too, and has now made it his mission to get some in stock.

There's also a rumor floated that Deschutes Brewing Co. is planning a sour. One can hope.


  1. Hi Jack,

    Glad you liked Cascade's beer. The brewer, Ron Gansberg, has developed quite a reputation for his sour beers. We're working on getting them to Bend, but in the meantime, you can order any of Cascade's bottled sours, which include a Kriek, Blackberry, Apricot (GABF winner), Cuvee and The Vine - just call the Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub at 503-296-0110 or email They'll gladly ship some your way!


  2. So why haven't you gotten into making your own beer?

  3. Pfft. Too lazy and I have plenty of hobbies already that sprawl all over the available space, something poor Mrs Elliott views as proof that she'll never have the pretty house she wishes for.


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