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  1. I've been quiet on the VBT front for a bit, and that's mainly been due to my current bourbon intake. When I have picked up a beer, it is more often than not a sour. All of the boozy, barrel-aged Imperial Stouts are gaining some age on my cellar shelf, and my thoughts have turned to the lower alcohol, tart goodness of sours. I'll plead ignorance on the whole sour ale genre, but I've been drinking my way through some good ones and I thought it might be better to just have a big group sour discussion. Definitely open for some new recommendations. Avery Brewing Rufus Corvus - I think I prefer the tartness of cherries to give that final sour kick to a beer, and Rufus Corvus has this one pretty much perfected. The thing I've begun to notice is that these sours, or wild ales, tend to take on the characteristics of the barrels a lot more than other aged beers. This one was aged in a mix of wine barrels and I think I'm going to sit on my other bottle for a year or so, to see if the flavors mingle a little more. There's also a lot of acid going on here, if you're sensitive to that kind of thing. Strangeways Brewing O.T.I.S (Oh, This Is Sour?) - This is a local RVA brewery, and it's a cucumber/melon sour ale. The description might frighten people off, but the flavors did work really well together. The cucumber is really just a garnish for a pretty light citrus/melon sour ale. The only real drawback is that it's only bottled in bombers with a $15+ price tag to match. Would be interesting to bring to a bottle share, but hard to drink the whole bottle in one sitting. Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne - While out at a Belgian restaurant here in RVA, Max's on Broad, I asked the server for their sourest sour and this is what he served. Like I said, I'm kind of new to getting into sours, but I did recognize this one as a mainstay at Belgian places. I probably first tried it when Beck was in its infancy. Really great cherry red sour, and actually went pretty well with the food (from what I can remember). This is probably the bottle I'd crack open for wine friends who were interested in what a Belgian Sour tastes like. I also tried some Adroit Theory offerings at a tap takeover they were having at Brew, a beer-focused gastropub down here. I think the sour I had was a barrel-aged GIAA (God is an American). I really enjoyed all of their offerings in their flight, and if I still lived in Nova, joining the Adroit Theory beer club would be a no brainer. I'm hoping they increase their presence in Richmond, since they're doing some good things. I have some California sours that I received in trades, from Almanac, Lost Abbey, and Russian River that I'm looking forward to getting into this summer. Please share some of your favorite sours or breweries that just don't get it right. -Eric
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