Echte Kriekenbier (6.8% ABV bottle)- Flanders Red- AleBrouwerij Verhaeghe, BEL
I managed to snag a bottle of this as one of the perks of volunteering at BeerAdvocate‘s Return of The Belgian Beer Fest that happened a few weeks ago. (I know, I know I’m behind on giving and update on it. Fingers crossed this weekend I’ll get y’all just a snippet of what I managed to sample.)
Pours out dark ruby red, not unlike cranberry juice with a light pink head that foams up quickly and disappears just as quickly –think champagne with a slightly richer head– though a thin layer of foam does remain throughout.
You can smell the cherries as soon as you pour. There’s a bit of a sour tang underneath. Not unsurprisingly Echte Kriekenbier tastes a lot like it smells. At first there’s a tartness that’s pushed aside by a blast of sweet fruit juiciness followed up by a bolt of sour dryness. The carbonation is lively which helps to give it a bright mouthfeel. This is a nice tasting little beer, but not what you could call complex.
If you are looking for a gateway beer into the world of sour beers –Flanders Reds and the like– this is a good place to start. It gives you an easy going tartness that’s not too sharp or acidic and rewards you with lots of sweet cherry. For the accustomed sour fiend this might be enjoyable if a bit on the pedestrian side. Overall though, it’s pretty darn drinkable if you have even the slightest penchant for something in a sour.