Debating the “Pandora’s box” of mixing beers

From DRAFT Magazine, by Kate Bernot

On a trip earlier this year to Edmonton, Alberta, I had dinner at a brewpub just off the bustling Whyte Avenue thoroughfare in the Old Strathcona neighborhood. The brewery was a relatively new addition to the scene; young, stylishly dressed Edmontonians on date nights waited in line for tables. The tap lineup was varied: sour beers, classic pub styles, way-hoppy pale ales and more.

As we gave our beer orders to our server, my companion hemmed and hawed about whether she’d enjoy the brewery’s kettle sour.

“Just … how sour is it?” she asked the server.

“If you’re nervous about that, I could do a half-sour and half-saison mix for you,” the server readily replied. She took him up on the offer.

I don’t think my mouth fell open, but I was surprised. Mixing beer styles isn’t something servers suggest often here in the States, let alone at a brewery itself. As my friend contentedly sipped her half-saison, half-sour, I wondered whether American aversion to the practice had its roots in mere snobbery or whether other factors are at play.

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