Editor's Note: Our Science Editor, Tom Mansell, explored the world of sour beers after a visit to the Great American Beer Festival. From fermentation to aging, Tom described sour beers as a bridge between the beer and wine worlds. This article is a must read for wine drinkers and beer drinkers alike who feel they just "don't get" the other side. –Ryan Reichert, Managing Editor
From a certain point of view, winemakers don’t make wine; yeast and bacteria do. Juice becomes wine by the miracle that is fermentation, the conversion of sugar to alcohol and other compounds. Since I’ve yet to see a human person ingest sugar and expectorate alcohol (whoa…don’t follow that mental image), winemakers must delegate this key operation to yeast.