If you are a fan of sour beers like I am then you should understand why I was extremely excited when a good friend told me about a special event that a not too far away brewery holds every few month called Sour Sunday. It got even better when he invited me along with his wife to meet up with a few others to check it out.
The brewery that birthed this sour beer lovers' dream Sunday is Free Will Brewing Company in Perkasie, PA. They have another branch in Lahaska, PA, but I have never visited that one.
Perkasie is located in Bucks County. It's about a 40-45 minute drive north of Philadelphia. However, it has a very small town America feel for somewhere that's not all that far away from a major metropolis. It feels like a very blue collar town and a place that moves a bit slower than the city to its south.
If you like to watch the leaves turn during autumn and going antiquing on weekends, you'd probably like the area. But, enough about the town. Let's get down to the important stuff.
What is it All About?
While Free Will Brewing Co. has been producing many different styles of beer since they were founded in 2011 like their Crisper Kölsch and various IPAs, this special Sunday was all about sour beer.
When you first arrive you can tell something must be going on. Parking is not ample and we were lucky to find an open spot on one side of the brewery. You'll also see a small sign showing that it's Sour Sunday along with a couple of food trucks parked out front, which come in handy as there isn't food served inside.
When you go in the front door expect to see a pretty small bar with some cans and merch for sale near the door. And, a LOT of people. The place was packed.
In fact, it gets so busy for a small brewery they actually open up the back where all the beer fermenting tanks are for seating. It makes the experience a bit more authentic as you get to sip the suds only feet away from where they were brewed.
There is a lot more seating and a serving bar in the back too, so if you arrive early you shouldn't have to worry about finding a place to relax while sampling all the different sour concoctions.
But, how many sour beers can one modestly sized brewery produce at one time? Quite a few apparently.
Delicious Sours Everywhere
Something any brewery worth its barley and hops does is give you an idea of what to expect as far as the flavor and body of their different brews are concerned. Free Will is no different.
There were plenty of paper menus around advertising the day's offerings.
Now, that is a lot of variety. The obvious problem is how in the world are you going to be able to enjoy such as large assortment of sours, some of them with rather high alcohol contents, in one afternoon?
Apparently you aren't the only one asking that question. The savvy management though has the perfect solution. While you can of course go up to the bar and ask for a small sample of something, the popular way to get a taste of everything on offer is to make use of the flight placemat/order forms laying around.
If you are with a couple of friends and not a complete germaphobe, you can even each order a flight sampling different beers and just sip and sample each others. For example, three people sharing three flights of four beers each let's all three of you try the entire menu before settling on a favorite.
That's what we ended up doing, and I'm very happy we did. There was a pretty significant difference in most of the sours and sampling only a few wouldn't have really captured the spirit of the event.
After you narrow down your favorites, you can settle in and order a pint or two. From what was on offer I really enjoyed the Kriek Nouveau. It was one of the sourest and just had a nice flavor to go with the tartness as well as not being too heavy. The Blushing Apricot was tasty as well though one of my friends hated it.
I was not a fan of Clifford the Big Red Quad, but I generally don't love quads anyway.
Everyone seemed to enjoy The Pomisher even though I don't think it made anyone's "winner" list.
I tend to look at certain criteria to determine how I would rate the overall experience of a trip, a meal, a movie, etc. They can include the cost, the value, the ease of getting to or into a certain place, the general ambiance, how crowded it was, and anything that can add to or take away from the potential of having a pleasant and positive experience.
However, all of that really boils down to two main factors:
- Was it generally enjoyable both at the time and looking back?
- Would I do it again?
In the case of Free Will Brewing's Sour Sunday, I would definitely answer both of those questions with a very emphatic, YES.
To keep up to date with what's going on at Free Will check out their Facebook page here.
Tim is a digital marketer by day and an amateur travel junkie by night. He grew up in the U.S.A. and spent half of his adult life living in Asia. A few of the next countries he hopes to visit are Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Brazil.