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.
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JUN 21, 2007
1.7 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
12 ounce bottle, not for retail sale sample. Very light in color, with a filmy head. Sweet fruits and pumpkin spice aroma, seems way off for the style. Flavor is absolutely nothing like an oud bruin. Where do I begin? Sweet beyond belief, not sour at all, no barrel character….was this even aged in wood?. The bacteria cultures just didn’t seem to work any magic. Really, really just awful and a drain pour for me. I sampled this next to Russian River Supplication and this beer absolutely tasted and smelled like nothing, when compared to the Supplication. I sampled what I believe was a non bottle conditioned sample, so if my score ends up being against that grain, I’ll pony up and by a Liter.
jcwattsrugger (11078) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - JUN 19, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
on tap-pours a light tan head and amber color. Aroma is dark/medium malt. Taste is dark/medium malt, vinuous/fruity, vinegar, yeast-clove, secondary earthy hops/interesting. OK carbonation.
Tejas (869) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JUN 7, 2007
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at the brewey tasting room. Light brown with a good light tan head. Sweet fruity aroma. I typically don’t go for these types because they’re just to darn sweet for me but this was very good and at only 6% makes it an easy drinker. Wish I had of bought the big bottle
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