In beer competitions, we judge everything from international lagers to hazy American IPAs and barrel-aged imperial stouts. It’s not often that we get the chance to try a new style, however. In a recent beer competition, I was one of the lucky few to judge a beer style I had never heard of, Catharina Sour. For the judges around that table, it caused mixed feelings: equal levels of confusion and excitement.

Perhaps you have heard of it? I’ve learnt, thanks to this beer competition, that Catharina Sour is a beer style originally from Brazil. Brewers are constantly pushing the boundaries, and this particular style was defined in 2015 during a workshop with craft brewers and homebrewers in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina – an area with a strong German influence, which is also noticeable in its beer culture.

This new discovery is like a stronger Berliner Weisse – so basically a fruited sour wheat beer, with local fruit such as guava, dragon fruit and tamarind. The highly carbonated beer has a light body and restrained alcohol. The fresh fruit takes centre stage, making it really refreshing and vibrant.

It was such a positive surprise to discover the style and get the chance to try a few Catharina Sours in the competition. Admittedly, me and my fellow judges didn’t have a clue about some of the exotic fruits used (even after googling them), but it was a fantastic tasting experience that sparked our curiosity!

With heaps of fresh fruit, clean and crisp sourness and sparkly carbonation, this is not only a great beer for the hot climate in Brazil, but also a refreshing summer beer for us northerners – try it as an aperitif, with a summer salad or grilled fish, or just on its own.

Malin Norman

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Receive our monthly newsletter by email

    I accept the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy