This past week we focused on all things sour beer. Namely, Partnerships Manager Grace Lee-Weitz wrote a comprehensive guide to lambics and lambic-style beer. Founder Kenny Gould reviewed three of the latest spontaneously fermented cherry beers from Primitive Beer. And I chatted with Matt Garcia of Homage Brewing about the intersection of natural wine and sour beer in his marvelous Colour Orange.

Needless to say, it was a wild week. And we sampled some fantastic beers for those stories.

Many of those aforementioned beers show up in this article but we also enjoyed some other tasty brews. Here are five of the best beers we drank from May 11th to the 18th.

Many of the breweries below are shipping beer–both locally and nationally. Check TapRm or Drizly to see if they’re providing local delivery and check out one of our favorite delivery services – Tavour – to see if their beer is available nationally.

Virtual Cheers

Trophy Brewing Co. — Raleigh, NC

trophy virtual cheers

Pilsner — As you should know well by this point, we love pilsners around these parts. And Trophy Brewing Co. nailed it with this easy-drinking, yet flavorful lager. Virtual Cheers, showcasing local malts, was delightfully bready and refreshing. It’s exactly what we want in a pilsner. So, we’re raising a glass to our friends in Raleigh!

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Best Personality

Ambitious Ales — Long Beach, CA

ambitious ales best personality

New England IPA — This was our first beer from Ambitious Ales and I was prepared to say “Well at least they have a great personality.” But, this was really excellent. Best Personality featured exceptional balance with a healthy dose of citrus and tropical fruit juice flavors. We could’ve happily put back several of these.

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So Last Season: Montmorency Cherry

Primitive Beer — Longmont, CO

primitive so last season cherry

Spontaneously Fermented Cherry Beer — Kenny sang the praises of this beer in his review of Primitive Beer, but it’s worth repeating. Founder Lisa and Brandon Boldt delivered an exquisite beer with So Last Season: Montmorency Cherry. There were such stunning cherry notes without becoming too singular in terms of the flavor. It managed to stay complex and varied with each sip. Plus, the carbonation was perfect and this beer felt refreshing through and through. In fact, we couldn’t help but think of sipping on our favorite natural wines while sipping on this one. That’s why So Last Season: Montmorency Cherry is easily one of the best beers we’ve enjoyed this year.

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Astro Lab Brewing — Silver Spring, MD

astrolab waka

Saison — Like Ambitious Ales, we haven’t had a chance to familiarize ourselves with Astro Lab. I popped open Waka mostly because I enjoyed the label. But, I was pleasantly surprised to find a really quality beer. Waka is a saison bottle conditioned with Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces and hopped with Nelson Sauvin. There were really lovely fruit flavors that interplayed with a gentle funkiness. It wasn’t mind-blowing but it was extremely well-crafted, balancing tart and sweet notes expertly. We’re excited to try more mixed-culture beers from this brewery.

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Colour Orange

Homage Brewing — Pomona, CA

homage colour orange

Saison — This is cheating a little bit because I actually tried Colour Orange months ago at Homage Brewing. But, when I was writing my story on Homage, I cracked this open again. And sure enough, it was just as delicious as I remembered. The color is so marvelous, the flavors are perfectly on point (grape skins, apricot, pear, peach), and the acidity is balanced just right. Homage makes some of my favorite beers and Colour Orange continues to raise the bar.

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