Cheap Buzz: Sour beers tempt wine lovers

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Cuvee Aigre, a sour beer from Free Will Brewing Co.

BUZZ: HEY MARNIE, what do wine drinkers do during Philly Beer Week?

Marnie: Most of them keep drinking wine, of course. But that doesn't mean they might not also cross the aisle to enjoy some beers. (PBW continues through Sunday.)

Buzz: I wish my wife would do that. She hates beer.

Marnie: She may just not have found one she likes. Many wine fans don't like everyday pale lagers. They might not realize there are other beers to try.

Wine and beer have more in common than most people realize. Chances are if you enjoy one of the two, there will be at least some styles of the other that will appeal to you.

Buzz: I'll let you tell her she should try more beers. She'd never listen to me on beer.

Marnie: Feel free to share a few of my recommendations, Buzz. There are a number of beer styles that have traits that wine drinkers tend to appreciate, and a few they should probably avoid.

Buzz: And I bet that too much hops, the latest fad, is one of them.

Marnie: It's true that craft beer lovers often gravitate toward the boldest, hoppiest styles, like IPAs. For wine lovers, the bitterness of these beers is often a big turnoff. For crossover appeal, you're better off starting with beers that are low in bitterness, such as wheat beers, and black beers like stouts and porters. And since one of wine's key traits is high acidity, many wine drinkers fall in love with fruit beers and sour beers, too.

Buzz: Only someone with bad taste would prefer spoiled beer.

Marnie: I don't mean beer that has turned sour, Buzz. I mean beer that's deliberately soured as part of brewing, like Belgian lambics, Flemish sours, and German Berliner weisse. These beers get a yogurty tartness from special yeasts and bacteria that provides a very winelike balance and finish.

Buzz: I'm a heavy malt guy myself, but my wife and I love balanced, tart white wine. I'll give Mrs. Buzz a wineglass sip of one of those sours and see if she discovers a nice beer.

Marnie Old is a local sommelier and wine author. Check her out at MarnieOld.com or follow her on Twitter at @MarnieOld. Buzz's musings are interpreted by Gar Joseph.