Lord Grey Sour Ale

Review Date  3/9/2018   Last Updated 4/10/2020    By John Staradumsky

Do you love coffee? I love coffee. Do you love beer? I love beer. Lucky for me (and maybe for you), there are SO many beersmade with coffee. Best of both worlds! Everybody wins!

Do you like tea? I love tea. Do you like beer? I love beer. Lucky for me…hey wait a minute. This is about where the analogy ends, because there are certainly NOT a lot of beers made with tea. Why not? I don’t know; that’s a good question. Coffee works well in beer because it is usually paired with brews including roasted barley or malts. Roasted coffee beans, roasted grain, sounds like a pair.

What about tea though? Tea comes from leaves, and hey, so do hops. Some hops (particularly some English and German hop varieties) throw off very herbal, tea-like notes when added late in the boil or when used for dry-hopping. So there you go, a perfect if overlooked pair, and really, we’ve got to get these two together.

As fate would have it, Three Taverns brewing of Decatur, Georgia did just that with their Lord Grey Ale, part of their Sour Asylum series. As they tell it:

Sour Asylum | Lord Grey is a limited lacto-fermented sour brewed with Earl Grey tea that uniquely blends the sour ale's tartness with flavor and aroma notes of lavendar and bergamot.

Lord Grey came to fruition with the help of our friends at The Porter beer bar who suggested the addition of tea leaves in a sour beer

Three Taverns Lord Grey Ale has an alcohol content of 5% by volume and I paid just $4.61 for 23 ounces at Taco Mac and it runs $10.99 a six-pack in cans.

My mug of Three Taverns Lord Grey arrived a hazy yellow color with a medium head of foam and very inviting notes of citrus and tea with sourness in the nose. Taking a sip, the beer is nigh puckering in its sourness in the palate, with heady herbal tea notes and strong citrus bergamot all leading into a puckering sour finish.

This is excellent. The tea just works so well here and accents the sourness wonderfully. It’s a perfect beer for me-and, hopefully, for you as well.

Update 4/10/2020: Stout's Growlers has curbside service in these the days of COVID-19, and yesterday I got a few crowlers, among them Three  Taverns Lord Grey Sour Ale. I paid $10 for my two pints, and I was so glad I did. The beer is, as always, a wonderful balance of vibrant Earl Grey tea and citric lemon finishing with a puckering sourness. It's one of the most refreshing beers I've ever tasted. Try it. You won't be disappointed.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.