The “Oud Bruin” or “old brown” style beers, brewed in and around Oudenaarde, on the river Scheldt in East Flanders, are notable for their complex combinations of malt, long boiling times (which provide some caramelization of the wort), and multi-strain, top-fermenting yeasts, some with lactic and acetic character. These are often “provision beers,” bottle-conditioned for cellaring, to be brought out when they can be savored. Their thirst-quenching sweet-and-sour character makes them perhaps the most refreshing beers in the world. Our Oud Bruin is firmly in the East Flanders tradition. We used American 2-row barley and German melanoidin malt (for red color) as well as maize (to lighten the body). The wort was simmered in the kettle for 24 hours, then hopped lightly with English Kent Goldings for balance. We fermented with a Flemish blend of yeast and bacteria cultures, including lactobacillus, pediococcus, and brettanomyces. It took six months at cellar temperature for the culture to achieve the style’s characteristic quenching sourness. Finally, we bottle-conditioned the beer according to the “methode champenoise,” so it, too, can be laid down, to be brought out when it can be truly enjoyed. Because of its lactic and acetic sourness, this is a wonderful beer for cooking and pairing with food. Unlike any wine, Oud Bruin complements vinegary dishes such as salads or even pickles. Its flavors will enhance those of shellfish, liver, rabbit, and game birds like quail. The acidity of the beer tenderizes beef and is ideal for braising—try it in the classic Belgian Carbonade Flamande.
Brewer: Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Style: Sour Red/Brown
Alcohol Content: 6%