Pale ale, 5%
"This beer single-handedly changed who I was as a beer drinker. I went from a domestic, large-scale beer drinker to focusing on the local, well-crafted beer made in my home state. My first sip was bliss. Well-balanced and not over the top, I was hooked from day one. To this day, Mirror Pond is one of my favorite beers. Without Deschutes, I'm not sure if I would be in the trade I am in today. So for all of you who are inspired to try something new, just realize that it may set you on a path full of new possibilities." -- Carmen Matthews, 7 Devils Brewing Co., Coos Bay, OR
Sour red-brown, 5.2%
"I remember tasting it, because it was something I'd never tasted before. I had no idea beer could taste like that. Sweet and sour with lots of fruit, and just very, very unique. To this day I still love Rodenbach. It's a pretty simple beer, but it has so much going on. Still very drinkable." -- Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, NY
Sour brown ale, 7%
Fort Collins, CO
"When I moved to Fort Collins in 1999, I became instantly aware of 'microbrew' beer, as it was known then, and more specifically, Fat Tire. My first Fat Tire was not a pleasant experience. I found it sweet and heavy, and it was not something I wanted more than one of. I was turned off to craft beer, but was still intrigued by the possibility of a more flavorful beer. I just needed to find a flavor I enjoyed.
"I kept trying different beers -- Odell, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams. The beer that finally won me over was another New Belgium I tried on a fateful visit to the brewery: La Folie. Back then it was only in 750ml bottles. It was an eye-opening experience. While all my friends neglected to try a second sample, I bought multiple bottles. I was amazed at how different this beer was from everything else I had ever tried. It was malty and rich, but oh so beautifully sour.
"I set out to learn how La Folie was made and how it differed from everything else on the market at the time. What happened was the beginning of an obsession with the process of making beer -- not just sour beer, but all beer styles. I found a love for the subtleties that separate style, and for the experiments that defy style. Today, this is the idea that's at the foundation of all my recipes." -- Ryan Kilpatrick, Fiction Beer Company, Denver, CO