Southern Appalachian Brewery Sour Blond

The Brewery: Southern Appalachian Brewery in Hendersonville, NC, about 30 miles south of Asheville

The Beer: Sour Blonde (a special release)

Tasting Notes: This tart, but complex brew immediately — and impressively — reminded us of Russian River's Temptation, the coveted sour blonde that is aged in chardonnay barrels. While this release had similar qualities — particularly a wonderful, balanced tartness — it didn't have that wood finish and certain je ne sais quois you get from that wood having soaked in chardonnay. Still, we didn't hesitate to go back for seconds of this special release.