Flanders Red is known as the Burgundies of Belgium. This style of beer once ruled West Flanders. This beer is brewed using large amounts of Munich and caramel malts with traditional brewing methods. The beer is then aged in large wooden barrels, vats, and Foeders, then is inoculated with wild yeast and lactic acid-producing bacteria. The most important is the tradition of aging the red ales in huge vats of unlined oak. The wood, which cannot be sterilized, is home to dozens of wild yeast and bacterial strains that consume the residual sugars in the beer. Over the course of it’s aging, which can last as long as two years, the beer takes on its characteristic acidity, along with oak flavor and color. Sherry and passion fruit notes develop and deepen as oxygen slowly seeps in through the wood. The individual barrels are blended together. The resulting blends are light-bodied and zesty, with complex fruity and earthy aromatics, malt caramel and sweetness balanced with refreshing acidity. The result is a wonderful blend of sweet and sour flavors.
Flanders Red Kriek is something to behold. Historically, every year, a few brave brewers would pick baskets full of cherries from trees near the brewery, and gently introduce them to the maturing Flanders Red. After nine months, they became one, and the beer was then blended off to perfection prior to bottling. The best examples are divine.
pFriem Flanders Red Kriek began with the arrival of our French Oak foudres from Bordeaux. We filled the first of the two vessels with our take on Flanders Red and a blend of microflora unique to the Flanders Region of Belgium. After nearly two years of graceful maturation, this elegant elixir was ready for blending and packaging. We then removed the beer from the foudre, and indeed, most of it was blended and packaged, but, (lucky for you), we didn’t package quite all of it on that day. Instead, we decided to use a small volume to fill freshly emptied Pinot Noir barrels from our friends at Domaine Serene winery. In these barrels it remained for an additional nine months of evolution before our Brewers, just like those of old, began picking cherries from the trees around the brewery. In total, we gathered a little more than 1,200 pounds of Royal Anne Cherries. Out of the barrels and onto the fruit went our Flanders Red, and there it remained for nine additional months before the two became one. The result, well over three years in the making, is resplendence made quaffable.
Aurora red with deep cherry hues, topped with eggshell foam. Bright aromas of pie cherry, leather, cigar, lemon, almond cookies, and sage. Complex flavors of strawberries, pastry crust, Oregon Pinot Noir, Rainier Cherries, and fresh baked almonds. Sweet and sour finish with big bold tannins, balanced dark fruit, and touch of botanicals.
Oily and buttery seafood is a great match for these sweet and tart ales; lobster, shrimp, sautéed monkfish, Dungeness crab, and king salmon. Obvious choices include Flemish style mussels and frites and beef carbonnade flamande. Other heartier items such as rich pork dishes, boar, and duck go great with the acidity and sweetness of the beer. Full flavored cream sauces and sour cherry sauces sing with the beers of Flanders.