A package had just arrived from Missouri, a.k.a. the Show Me State, and it contained samples of some new releases from the state's Boulevard Brewing Company. The one labeled Show Me Sour immediately caught my eye.
Originally brewed in 2015 as a collaboration between Boulevard brew master Steven Pauwels and Cory King of the cult favorite Side Project Brewing, the newly re-released Show Me Sour is much more mellow than the name suggests.
While the label prominently states that the beer is barrel-aged, don't expect a funky, enamel-stripping wild ale. This brew is actually a fairly light table beer, partially soured and aged in whiskey barrels before being blended with a more neutral base beer. Along with the addition of a small amount of black malt, the beer drinks somewhat like modern interpretations of the Kentucky common style.
Show Me Sour's laid-back acidity makes it a great option for meal pairings, as it's unlikely to overwhelm other flavors. At the same time, the lightly roasted grain notes and subtle hints of vanilla and oak from the whiskey barrels keep it interesting enough to enjoy on its own.
There's a lot of great stuff out there that fits into the barrel-aged sour category, but Show Me Sour gets bonus points for an original approach, resulting in a beer that's not especially challenging, but that is absolutely worth bringing to the table.
Justin Grant, Times correspondent