About Sour Cellars
Sour Cellars is an all sour brewery and barrel room established in 2014. It was founded after years of experimentation with sour brewing techniques and research on sour beers. The techniques used to produce our beer are a combination of laborious and time consuming traditional Belgian methods, combined with modern technologies to create more interesting aromas and flavors.
Currently the barrel room has over 300 oak barrels used for fermentation and aging. All fermentations take place in the barrel and the beer is allowed to age on the yeast for at least a year. Having our own brewhouse allows us to easily experiment with different mash techniques, open air cooling, open fermentation and spontaneous fermentation.
All of our beers are mixed culture fermentations, meaning that every fermentation has many different species of yeast and bacteria working together to produce ethanol, lactic acid and many of other compounds in lesser quantities that contribute to the aromas and flavors. When working with so many cultures, the beer needs to age for more than year so that certain chemical reactions can take place. The compounds created by these reactions give the beer a very unique character.
With our lab equipment we are able to isolate and propagate wild yeast. We currently maintain over 20 strains harvested from various sources. Although our beers are mixed fermentation, during the warmer summer months we pitch one or more of these wild strains in a significant quantity so as to outcompete other unwanted microbes, preventing them from producing undesirable characteristics. During winter months we focus on open-air cooling and spontaneous fermentation.
After the lengthy aging process in the barrels, we blend multiple barrels into larger tanks and often introduce fruits for another fermentation cycle, lasting a few months. We do our best to select the best varieties of fruits for our batches. We work with several local farmers to try to find those varieties. We employ specialized yeast strains for these fruit re-fermentations to keep the beer from forming off flavors, while extracting as much of the fruit character as possible.