Picks and pairings for sour beers in Canberra

Picks and pairings for sour beers in Canberra

Canberra’s craft breweries are going from strength to strength. In recent years they have been championing sour beers across the city, perfecting the art of balancing sweet and sour.

Here’s our picks for where to try to find your favourite sour beer in Canberra.

  1. What is a sour beer?

    As the name would suggest, it’s your go-to beer for intentionally acidic, tart or sour flavours.  Styles to look out for that are considered sour beers include gose, Berliner weisse, lambic, flanders and red ale.

    One way to approach sours is to think of them as a training wheels beer – if you’re someone who historically hasn’t enjoyed the hoppy, yeasty flavours of beer, and terms like fruity, sour, and acidic are more in tune with your palette, we suggest giving sour beers a try.

    Arguably a beer for all seasons, Canberra’s distinct autumnal weather with its crisper evenings and auburn hues were made for pairing with sour beer.

  2. Old Canberra Inn

    For when nothing but what’s on tap will do. Old Canberra Inn – OCI to the locals – are proud supporters of sour beers, frequently pouring the latest Moon Dog Brewery or Badlands Brewery from their taps. The menu means business too, with previous specials including Kurrajong & Hoisin Kangaroo Tacos or the white chocolate, honey & Davidson plum baked cheesecake.

    Pairs well with: cracking out the puffer jacket for the first time for the year, and getting geed up for GIO Stadium under the lights.

  3. Capital Brewing

    While Capital Brewing are serving up a few sours at their taproom, the one that has our heart is Pucker Up – Pear & Elderflower Sour. Made in collaboration with National Portrait Gallery for their Australian Love Stories exhibition (closing 1 August 2021), this beer reflects ‘the sometimes sweet, sometimes sour nature of romantic love. According to the brewers, elderflower petals added in the process are a nod to their historic use as an aphrodisiac, as well as to ward off evil spirits. Sounds like a must-drink to us.

    Pairs well with: A long weekend away in Canberra with your great love with a side of art appreciation.

  4. Paranormal Wines

    While wine is in the name, the selection of beers at Paranormal are out of this world. Garage Project’s White Mischief is a curious blend of salted white peach, providing libation that satiates as well.

    Pairs well with: Tales of supernatural experiences, and sweet chilli chippies.  

  5. Sideway

    Through the Civic bus interchange and up the stairs, you’ll find Canberra’s home of great nights. After you’ve ordered a pizza to be delivered to your table (capricciosa, natch), sit down to a pint of La Sirene’s Citray Sour, the right amount of zing that compliments the barstaff.

    Pairs well with: Trivia on a Wednesday night, and nailing a rendition of ‘When Doves Cry’.

  6. BentSpoke Brewing

    Most notable for taking out this year’s GABS Hottest 100 with their Crankshaft beer, BentSpoke are a solid choice for the beer connoisseurs amongst us. The How’s It Gosen? will please the traditionalists amongst us with their balance of fruity, salty & sour flavours.

    Pairs well with: A stroll around foodie Braddon and cracking puns.

  7. Assembly

    Claiming to be Canberra’s best beer garden, find a spot to nest under the oak tree out the back, then head straight to the Tinnie Bar. With a rotating selection of sours, this is the establishment to experiment and sample a few varieties in the one location.

    Pairs well with: a love for a bit of a boogie and a cheeky Instagram snap.