Tag Archives: Oud Beersel Brewery

Day 14 – Oud Beersel – Bersalis Sourblend

I can’t believe how close we are getting to the end of the calendar. It seems like just yesterday I was cracking open the first square and beginning this path. Now, more than half-way through, we are 10 days from the end and 11 from Christmas day (for those who celebrate).

Day 14 brings us a beer from Oud Beersel (another repeat brewery)called “Bersalis Sourblend”. This is a blend of a traditional Lambic and a Belgian blonde that has been aged in barrels. It sounds delicious and I’m excited to try it.

The brewery, Oud Beersel, was founded in 1882 and is located in Beersel, 10km away from Brussels city centre in the southwest of the city. This brewery is one of the last remaining authentic lambic breweries and is well known for its lambic beers and its traditional brewing methods.

The brewery almost shut down at the end of 2002 as there was a lack of succession planning on behalf of the family who ran the brewery. There was a public shock at the potential loss of a historical, cultural and traditional brewery and in 2005 the brewery was taken over and brewing began once more. The reason, to protect the time-honoured tradition of lambic beers as well as the historical and cultural heritage of the brewery. Pretty awesome to see. They have a storied history, outlined here.

Lambics are a style of beer that has traditionally been brewed in Belgium. These beers are brewed using spontaneous fermentation, using microflora from the air rather than harvested brewers yeast. Lambic matures up to three years in wooden barrels, whereupon it is blended to make Oude Geuze. Sour cherries undergo fermentation in lambic beer and after a second fermentation in the bottle Oude Kriek is born. This unique brewing process with spontaneous fermentation is possible in Belgium in the Pajottenland region, the Zenne Valley and in Brussels, because of the presence of a specific microflora.

As for a Blonde, we’ve seen on of these before. They are moderate strength golden ales with a mild fruit and spice note from the Belgian yeast with a slightly sweet malty flavour and a dry finish. These are a relatively recent beer style that was made to further appeal to European Pilsner drinkers and has become much more popular.  These beers are similar in strength as a Dubbel, similar character as a Belgian Strong Golden Ale or Tripel, although a bit sweeter and not as bitter.

Appearance – Pours a hazy pale gold with a good 2” rocky head.
Smell – Smells of pear, apples, yeast funk and bready malt.
Taste – Starts sweet with a slightly metallic tartness. This brings in hints of fruit, citrus and funk. Finishes moderately bitter with a good crisp tartness.
Mouth feel – Medium-light body with a good carbonation and a nice tart finish.
Overall – The strong ale blended with the lambic is overpowering in what it brings. The lambic notes are subdued. While the beer presents notes of the blended styles, neither is the star and so it falls a bit flat.
Do I like it?
– I did like. While there was some things I found a bit off-putting, the metallic note to be one, I enjoyed the beer overall.

 

Craft Beer Advent Calendar – Day 16

Beer 16

My wife thinks that as this beer calendar progresses I am becoming more difficult when it comes to my reviews.  I was thinking about it, and I honestly might be.  Not because I am treating the beers differently, I believe, but because I am trying so many fantastic beers it is difficult not to compare them to one another.

There are 3 more beers until I am off for my travelling. Today’s beer comes to us from the beer-soaked land of Belgium. Oud Beersel brewery brings to us their Belgian Ale “Bersalis Kadet.”

The brewery started in 1882 and is located about 10 km from the Brussels city centre in the southwest of the capital. It is one of the last remaining authentic lambic breweries and is known of its lambic beer brewed in the tradition brewing method.

Lambic matures up to 3 years in wooden barrels before being blended to make Oude Geuze, which is the young form, or first fermentation of the lambic beer.  Sour cherries undergo fermentation in this immature lambic beer and after a second fermentation Oude Kreik is created, which is the matured version of this beer. This spontaneous fermentation and unique brewing process is possible because of the presence of special micr-oorganisms in the region.  It is only possible in this region due to the existence of what they call “wild yeast” native to the Zienne valley where Brussels is located.

Luckily for me, because we’ve already tried a beer like this (Krampus), this particular beer brewed by Ould Beersel is a Belgian Ale that is brewed in the standard method. It is a Belgian beer brewed in the style of a lager.  Lagers are a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures.  The most common one consumed is a pale lager but other types include pilsners, and Märzen style lagers.  Let’s give this one a try!

Rating: 73/100

Appearance:  Clear golden brown/amber hue with significant head that retains very well.
Smell: Yeasty on the nose with caramel malts and grassy/lemony notes from the hops.
Taste: Cool and crisp with a dry finish.  Slight fruitiness with a good sweet from the malt and a dry bitter finish from the hops.  Good summer beer very reminiscent of a pilsner in flavor with its lightness and dry crispness.
Mouth feel: Light body with crisp carbonation.
Overall: Crisp, cool and refreshing this beer certainly brings a lot to the table.  The sweetness is not overpowering but nor is it really there.  There is some lacking in the flavor department as things tend to drift off as you get to the finish.  While dry and bitter from the hops, it’s not really anything noticeable.  This beer is good, but it lacks overall for other beers of the category..
Do I like it: I did enjoy the beer.  It was refreshing.  The flavors, while not overly noticeable, were still appealing and provided a nice good beer to go with a meal.  It’s like they say, you don’t want a beverage to overpower your meal.  This one would certainly be a good food beer as it allows the flavor of the food to come through.