Flanders red ale

Flanders red ale

Infobox beer style
name = Flanders red ale
bgcolour =

imagesize =
caption =
origin = Belgium
yeast = Top-fermenting
alcohol = 5.0% - 5.5%
color = 10 - 16
bitterness = 15 - 25
originalgravity = 1.046 - 1.054
finalgravity = 1.008 - 1.016
maltpercentage =
examples =
* Rodenbach Klassiek
* Rodenbach Grand Cru
* Bellegems Bruin
* Duchesse de Bourgogne
* New Belgium La Folie
* Petrus Oud Bruin
* Southampton Publick House Flanders Red Ale
* Verhaege Vichtenaar

Flanders red ale, alternatively called Flanders brown or Sour brown, is a style of sour ale usually brewed in Belgium. Although sharing a common ancestor with English porters of the 17th century [Wheeler, G. & Roger Protz. "Brew Your Own British Real Ale at Home", CAMRA Books, 1996. ISBN 1-85249-138-8] , the Flanders red ale has evolved along a different track: the beer is often fermented with organisms other than "Saccharomyces cerevisiae", "Lactobacillus" being common to produce a sour character attributable to lactic acid; long periods of aging are employed, a year or more, often in oaken barrels, to impart an acetic acid character to the beer; special red malt is used to give the beer its unique color; and often the matured beer is blended with a younger batch before bottling to balance and round the character.

The beer appears deep red to brown in color, and should remain fairly clear in a glass. The aroma is a complex mixture of fruits: citrus, cherries, plum, raisin as well as some vanilla or chocolate undertones. The sourness of the beer can also be apparent in the aroma.

Flanders reds have a strong fruit flavor similar to the aroma, but more intense. Plum, prune, raisin and black cherry are the most common flavors, followed by orange and some spiciness. All Flanders red ales have an obvious sour or acidic taste, but this characteristic can range from moderate to strong. There is no hop bitterness, but tannins are common. Subsequently, Flanders red ales are often described as the most "wine-like" of all beers. Although, this is also likely due to their distinctive red color.


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