Flanders Sour Red Ales are traditional reddish brown colored beer of West Flanders, Belgium. While still popular as a table beer in Flanders today, they are a style of beer that many have never heard of. Flanders red ale are infamous for their distinct sharp, fruity, sour and tart flavors which are created by special yeast strains. Very complex beers, they are produced under the age old tradition of long-term cask aging in oak, and the blending of young and old beers. Beginning with a selection of medium-dark malts, and just enough hops to add some aromatic complexity, the brew is first fermented using traditional, top-fermenting ale yeast. After brewing, the ale is aged for long periods in huge, old, oak casks, more reminiscent of those used in the wineries of old-world countries than of any other beer style. After an aging period of at least 18 months, the main portion of the beer is considered ripe, and it is then blended with a beer of the same recipe, but that has been aged for much less time. This process will add to the liveliness of the finished product, while allowing the amazing sweet and sour flavors that can only develop with extended aging to still shine through.
A world class Flanders Sour Red Ale to try: Rodenbach Grand Cru