The Flanders Red style is a type of tart, sour ale that is brewed in West Flanders, Belgium. This style can be characterized by its well-balanced acetic acid flavor. The strong sour character comes from the ale being fermented with organisms like Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Lactobacillus. This style of ale is brewed with many more microorganisms than traditional brewers yeast. Long aging periods in oak barrels for sometimes over a year or more is common. The enticing red hue comes from the use of colorful red malts and can vary from a burgundy red to a reddish-brown.
Flanders Red Ales have strong, tart fruity flavors. You’ll find the the same sugary sour fruit character in its aroma along with exquisite notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. Typically, the types of fruit flavors you’ll experience are either plum, black cherry, raisin, or raspberry - possibly a combination of the four. This style should feature no hop bitterness, although tannins are common. If produced in a high-quality manner, a Flanders Red Ale should have excellent balance between the sour tart flavors and the sweet malty flavors. With a flavor complexity to truly marvel at, Flanders Red Ales are considered the style of beer that most resembles a fine wine.
Flanders Red Ales pair well with roast beef, fresh fruits, or all on their own as a dessert drink.
Our Favorites: Mikkeller Spontansweetcherry, Rodenbach
Gueuze (sometimes spelled Geuze) is a style of Lambic. It’s created by combining one-year-old (young) and two-year-old (old) Lambics together which are then bottled for a second fermentation process. After the two Lambics are blended, they are aged for an additional two-three years time. Gueuze beers are really unique in their character as they don’t taste quite like traditional ales or classic lagers. Wild yeasts used to brew Gueuze contribute a dry, almost musty taste with big, strong punches of sour tartness. Some brewers have begun adding small doses of sugar in order to sweeten the Gueuze - trying to make it appeal to a wider audience as not everyone has the palate for super sour brews.
Gueuze style beers are similar to Lambics though are more dry, fruity, and intense. A high-quality, well-made Gueuze will have no recognizable hop bitterness. Fruity ester aromas are present and are typically quite intense. The color of the brew can range from gold to coppery amber. Although some haziness may find it’s way into some batches due to the bottle fermentation, Gueuze style beers are brilliantly crystal clear. This style pairs well with shellfish (especially mussels), rich desserts such as chocolate cake, and hard cheeses.
Our Favorites: Oud Beersel Oud Geuze, Oud Beersel Bzart Lambiek