Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Beer Review - Strubbe's Flemish Red Ale

Brouwerij Strubbe Grand Cru Flemish Red Ale - 6.5% ABV

So, you like the sour beers?  Me, too .... that is unless the sourness is artificially enhanced with additives in which case it becomes a bit .... intense with the sour overpowering the flavor of the beer.  If that is the kind of sour that you desire then you can save some money by buying a Bud and dropping a couple of Jolly Ranchers in it, then guzzling away.  The real/original sour ales are/were created by allowing wild yeast and bacterial strains to 'contaminate' the beer during the brewing process.  Because of the uncertainty involved in using wild yeast, the sour beer brewing process is extremely unpredictable. The beer takes months to ferment and can take years to mature.  The sourness is therefore not overpowering ... refreshing.

Brouwerij Strubbe is a family owned brewer (since 1830) located in Flanders (western Belgium) in the quiet town of Ichtegem located just to bit southwest of Brugges.  The Grand Cru is a relatively new introduction entering the market in 2006 and is created using an interesting method of attaining their sourness.  Their process involves aging their brown ale in Bordeaux oak barrels for two years and while this makes a fine tasting sour, it also leaves the ale rather flat.  So they mix this aged ale with fresh ale to add crispness and carbonation. 

The berry character of the beer is first in smell and taste.  It pours a deep golden brown with bubbles streaming up the glass much like those in champagne.  The smooth brew goes down easily with the berry flavors at the front but followed quickly by caramel and honey notes.  The carbonation and acidity do a fine job of preventing 'beer mouth' that you often get when drinking sours.  Really, really refreshing and delightful.  You should be able to find this lovely brew locally at Total Wine.

Brouwerij Strubbe
Markt 1
8480 Ichtegem

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