Topic Archives: Belgian Flemish Sour Ales

Posted in Coming Soon

A New Rodenbach Emerges


If you love lambics,wild ales, and sours, read further. Rodenbach – one of the world’s leading brewers of sour beers is bringing you a new one. Caractére Rouge (Red Character) features red fruits like cranberries, raspberries and sour cherries, aged in oak.

The exclusive RODENBACH Caractere Rouge, with an alcohol content of 7%, is the result of a 6-month maceration with fresh fruit (sour cherries, raspberries and cranberries) of a beer which matured in oak casks for 2 years. After its maceration, the beer is re-fermented in the bottle. Flavourwise this fruit beer has a rather sour taste, but of an exceptionally pure nature. Its light, residual sugars balance out the triangle of sour, sweet and dry flavours. This beer evokes the delicacy and experience of a fresh Burgundy wine. 

Style: Flemish Red Ale (w/ Cranberries, Raspberries, Cherries. Oak Aged)
Availability: 750 ml bottles
Arrival: TBA

7% ABV


Posted in Coming Soon, New Belgium

Preview: La Folie 2012

New Belgium annually releases La Folie.  The beer is aged in large wood tanks for 1-3 years before making it’s debut.  New Belgium brewer Peter Bouckaert previously worked at Rodenbach in Belgium, home to this style.

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Availability: 22oz bombers, Draft.  Annual release.

6% ABV

Posted in Coming Soon, Mikkeller

Belgian Quad Meets Sour Ale

A new one from Mikkeller headed stateside in 2011.  Looks like a cross between a quadruple and a sour ale.

The monks are mad, they are raging.  They are on their way to punish the one who spiked their sweet quadruple with a blend of sour ale. Psst — it was Mikkeller who did it.  Don’t tell the monks!

Availability: 16.9 oz bottles

9.99% ABV

Posted in Coming Soon, Pipeworks Brewing

Small Animal…Big Machine

Half Acre Brewing
(Chicago, IL) just brewed with Pipeworks Brewing (Chicago, IL) and De Struise (Ostveleteren, Belgium). The beer is called “Small Animal…Big Machine”.  Not entirely sure the name origin, but the beer is brewed with cherries & currants.

From HA:
This beer is called Small Animal Big Machine. I would say that each influence had a chance to impact this beer and the result will be something of its own. We did a traditional sour mash, used Urbain’s yeast from Belgium and are incorporating a slew of fruit. This beer will be here soon.

Availability: 22oz bombers.  Chicago area.

8.5% ABV

Posted in New Launches, New Releases

Alvinne Cuvee Freddy American Debut

This beer might be completely off the radar for some.  It’s new the the United States, and hasn’t burst on the scene with a lot of fanfare.  If I had  to describe this beer – it’s less for casual drinker, and one more for the individual on a flavor journey.  Cuvee Freddy is brewed by Picobrouwerij Alvinne in Heule, Belgium.  The name of the brewery comes from a female spirit that is the subject of local folktales, and appears on the labels of the bottles.  Don’t be put off by the name “Picobrouwerij.”  The name is a bit of a play on words.  Basically “Pico” is a scientific prefix in the metric system denoting a factor of 10−12 or 0.000000000001.  In other words VERY SMALL or… Micro brewery.  Everything has a backstory!

Alvinne began brewing in 2002 as a contract brewer through De Graal Brewery in the East Flanders area of Belgium.  They have since moved to their own digs.  Alvinne produces a fairly wide range of styles from Abbey ales, Strong ales, and oak aged sour ales.  Something to note as you read this.  Belgium is a brewery intensive country.  Other than the U.S. estimates I’ve read indicate that Belgium has just as many breweries, if not more.  For a small craft brewer to gain as much attention as it has, and to have its brews come as far as Atlanta, it’s an impossibly big feat.

So – Cuvee Freddy.  This is sour ale aged in oak barrels.  Sour ales are brewed with wild yeasts like saccharomyces or brettanomyces, and lactic acid.   Sour ales have a really unique flavor and the style is really catching on in the states.

Taste Expectations:  Tart for starters.  Not very sour.  Vine fruits, grapes cherries.  Dark dry fruits.  Oak.  Chocolate.  Very complex beer that leads you in a lot of directions.

Availability: 750 ML capped bottles.  Retail around $18.00

9% ABV

40 IBU’s

Cuvee Freddy is imported by B. United International – Redding, CT

Posted in New Releases

NEW RELEASE: Ommegang Zuur

Zuur means sour.  Ommegang Zuur is Flemish Sour Brown Ale and is a special release by Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY.)  The back story to this beer is a little complicated, hopefully this is explanation is simple enough…

Zuur is collaboration between Ommegang and Leifmans Brewing out of Belgium.  Zuur is a  blend of two beers from Liefmans Brewing.  The Belgian brewer has been in existence since 1679, and produces Oud Bruin, Goudenband, Lambic and Cuvee and was recently acquired by Duvel Moortgat Brewing in Breedonk, Belgium.

Leifmans is unique, as they use a blending process in their brews.   Blending was a method of beer preservation before the onset of refrigeration.  Older beers were blended with younger beers to liven up the flavor.  The brewery uses a mix of fermentation methods (open fermenation, spontaneous fermentation, and bottle fermentation before blending the younger beers with older beers.  Most of Liefmans brews will aged up to 2 years before being blended with a younger counterpart.

Zuur is a blend of Leifmans Oud Bruin, and Liefmans Cuvee Brut.  Brut is the newest brew out of Leifmans.  It’s Oud Bruin with cherries added and aged for 1 year.  Then its blended with younger Oud Bruin and blended again with Goudenband, a Belgian brown ale.  (You almost need  flowchart to keep up. )

From the Label:

Zuur — or Sour — is our collaborative Flemish sour brown ale. A beer whose style arises from the mists of brewing history. It uses mixed fermentation, real fruit, significant aging, and master blending.

All of these are ancient and revered Belgian techniques. This unique Flemish sour brown ale is complex, tart with a touch of sweetness, lightly malty and gently hopped. Zuur is a unique blend created in collaboration between Brewery Ommegang and Brouwerij Liefmans.”

Availability – 750 ML Bottles, Corked & Caged.  Draft.

6% ABV