Five Sour Beers to Try from Boston-Area Breweries

Pucker at the thought of sour beer? It’s time to reconsider. More and more local breweries are bringing the funk to their taprooms—with surprisingly refreshing results.
sour beers boston breweries

Photograph by Emily Sotomayor

Lamplighter Brewing Co.
Metric Systems Gose

This new Cambridge brewery has a penchant for earthy beers fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, known to lend a leathery, overripe-fruit quality. But co-owner AC Jones also loves clean, classic brews: His German-style Gose, kettle-soured with coriander, is both funky and traditional.

sour beers boston breweries 1

Trillium Brewing Company
Bees American Wild Ale

With demand for hazy, hoppy ales driving Trillium’s agenda, creating a wild-beer program hadn’t been a priority—until now. Expansions in both Canton and Boston will lead to more limited releases like Bees American wild ale, an effervescent thirst-quencher brewed with local wildflower honey and bottle-conditioned with a mix of microbes.

sour beers boston breweries 2

Springdale Barrel Room
Kriek Mythology

Clean-drinking lagers built Jack’s Abby, but the Framingham brewery isn’t afraid to mix it up. Last year, it debuted Springdale Barrel Room next door, home to sours, aged beers, and other new projects. This Belgian-inspired liquid, which gets some of its sourness from the microflora on cherry skins, picks up vanilla notes after 10 months of oak-barrel aging.

sour beers boston breweries 3

Exhibit A Brewing Company
Leitmotif Opus 03

After two decades in the brewing industry, Matthew Steinberg introduced his own brand in Framingham last summer. In February, he filled his first wild-fermentation barrels, which will sit for at least six months. In the meantime, the Leitmotif series showcases simple sours, such as this limited-release lacto-fermented variety with basil and cucumber.

sour beers boston breweries 4

Night Shift Brewing
Sore Loser

The second collaboration between Everett beer maker Night Shift and North Carolina–based Trophy Brewing, this limited release balances dark malts and honey in a fresh sauvignon blanc barrel. The resulting brew is reminiscent of a chocolate-covered white grape.


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com