Brewing beer takes patience and careful planning, but there’s also room for experimentation. That’s especially true for beer enthusiasts in Orange County. Many OC craft breweries produce notable and award-winning sour beers using a combination of wild yeast and bacteria (called “bugs”). With these tools, a brewmaster can create truly wild American beers. Sour beer can be a risky proposition, though, with an aging process that takes up to three years. Some of the best sours on this list also are in limited supply, so check out the brewery websites before you go to see what’s on hand.
717 Dunn Way
Placentia, CA 92870
In Orange County, the Bruery is the go-to place for beer lovers looking for a good sour. With his Bruery Terreux brand, founder Patrick Rue gave himself and the staff a place to work on their wild and sour beers. ‘Gypsy Tart,’ one of their great sour beer offerings, is a brown ale with British roots, but it definitely honors California as well. The Bruery staff also points out that Gypsy Tart goes well with such entrees as rib-eye steak or halibut with brown butter. A definite Orange County landmark, the Bruery earns high marks for its sours and other beers.
The Good Beer Company
309 W. 4th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Though it takes its name from a prehistoric creature, sour beer fans don’t think The Good Beer Company’s ‘Dinosaur’ beer is out of date. Brewed by the Good Beer Company, raspberries give this sour beer its tart flavor and great taste. The Good Beer Company also serves a series of interesting farmhouse style beers, including Sweet Cherry Oro and Apricot Harvest. Dedication to their products and Downtown Santa Ana (DTSA) has made this year-old brewery a place to enjoy craft beers in Orange County.
13011 Newport Avenue Ste.,100
Tustin, CA 92780
A Great American Beer Festival medal winner, Tustin Brewery’s Jon Flanders gets its sour goodness from boysenberries and blackberries. Even when this award-winning sour beer isn’t on tap, this brewery has other great craft beers complemented by burgers, sandwiches, wings and other bar favorites. Pick your favorite brew and food before catching up on the latest events in the sports world.
Related: Best Brewery Tours in Orange County
31896 Plaza Drive
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Sour may describe many of the BrewHouse offerings, but founders Ron Bland and Andrew Reed are two nice, knowledgeable guys who are passionate about their beer. Their Cherry-Currant Fluff earned high praise on the Untappd wesbite from sour beer enthusiasts. With 30 rotating taps, Bland and Reed offer the best beers produced locally, as well as in other regions. In their words, good beer is good beer no matter where it comes from.
Barrel Aged Sour
Newport Beach Brewing
2920 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Barrel-aged for nine months, this sour from Newport Beach Brewing has attracted some great attention lately. Celebrating 20 years in business, this brewery has a robust food menu that’s even more enhanced by the beauty of Newport Beach. Offering a selection of great sour beers like their Barrel Aged Sour, they also offer other beers that go well with their sliders, salads or brick oven pizzas. Under the same ownership since the day they first opened, Newport Beach Brewing remains a place to enjoy all types of beer.