Flemish red-brown is a regional beer style. Our country does not boast many truly regional beer styles but we can count the oude gueuze, saison and Flemish red-brown (Vlaams roodbruin) amongst them. This particular beer style is found in the area around Kortrijk and Roeselare. Sweet and sour, that is the dominant taste of this red-brown.
This beer is the end result of an ancient storage method intended to increase the life span of the beer. The Flemish red-brown beers are produced using mixed fermentation. Their red-brown colour comes from the coloured barley malts. The ‘mixed’ main fermentation followed by several months’ maturation on oak barrels (foeders) accounts for the mildly sour taste and complex fruitiness.
‘Mixed fermentation’ means that the brewer is blending – or ‘cutting’ – a quantity of young beer with old, mature, entirely fermented beer. The Flemish red-brown beers traditionally acquire their sour taste in vertical foeders. Bacchus is an exceedingly mild, Flemish red-brown with subtle impressions of acetic acid.
These beers typically come with a fresh, sweet and sour touch which turns them into excellent thirst-quenchers. The Bacchus Kriek and Framboos (raspberry) are produced on the basis of Bacchus Oudbruin. This beer, introduced in 1955, is the oldest beer in the range offered by Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck.