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Sunday, January 3, 2016

THE COCKTAIL HOUR: Belgian Sour Ale Taste Off

To me, Belgium is the beer capitol of the world.  In this small country, over 250 breweries make the best beer on earth.  Today, we’re tasting a tiny sliver of that tradition with our Belgian sour ale taste off.

Belgium is divided into two linguistic regions, Wallonia and Flanders.  French is spoken in Wallonia and Flemish (similar to German) is spoken in the northern region.  This area along the Dutch border is where the sour ales generally hail from.

Watch the Video!

Sour ale is a beer that, just like the name says, tastes sour.   Sometimes it’s just a hint of sourness and other times you’ll think you’re swilling vinegar.  It’s definitely an acquired taste for most people.  It’s a taste I’m trying to acquire…sour beer is pretty difficult for me to get a handle on.  My wife, on the other hand, loves sour ales and it’s her favorite beer type.  Unfortunately for her, most beer drinkers in our area aren’t big fans of the stuff so it’s pretty hard to find.

We’re lucky that we have a few pubs nearby that serve a selection of Belgian beers.  One, Lucky Baldwin’s, has a Belgian Beer Festival each year and this is where my wife found out she liked the sours.

Today, we’re tasting two ales. Monk’s Café is a Flemish sour ale.  Brewed just south of the Dutch border, it’s made especially for Monk’s Café, a Belgian restaurant in Philadelphia.  It come out a dark, copper color with a nice, 1 inch head. The sour taste is not overwhelming and is not sweet like some of the Flemish ales you find available around here, like the krieks you get at Trader Joe’s.

The second ale is Duchesse de Bourgogne, a Flanders red ale.  This one is a little sourer but still drinkable to me.  It’s just slightly redder than Monk’s.  It’s brewed farther south, about 50 miles south of Brugges.

At BevMo, the Monk’s Café sour ale is about $3.50 a bottle and Duchesse de Bourgogne is $5.49.



1 comment:

  1. i hope i'm as much as a beer drinker to get a taste of this... LOL