Zoetzuur Flemish ReserveJanuary 1, 2006 Lochristi, Belgium
Available: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, OR, OH, WA
Comment: Zoetzuur is Flemish for “sweet-sour.” The beer is fermented with two yeasts—Saccharomyces and (semi-wild) Brettanomyces. Prior to final fermentation a hint of kriek (black cherry) is added.
Alcohol (wt.): 5.6
Alcohol (vol.): 7
Original Gravity: 1072
Final Gravity: n/a
Malts used: n/a
Hops used: n/a
Zoetzuur means “sweet and sour” but this has nothing to do with Chinese cuisine. The sweet and sour notes come from black cherry juice and the fruit balances the spicy and floral contribution of English Goldings and American Tomahawk hops. The sugars from Munich, Pilsner and Cara malts are fermented by a blend of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces yeast cultures, the second of which gives a characteristic musty “horse blanket” appeal. A complex and rewarding beer.
- Roger Protz
This is one fine beer—subtle and quiet, yet robust. Tart, but not too tart. In fact, the sweet element neatly balances that tartness. On the palate there are notes of raisins, and a remote hint of cherry lingers on in the aftertaste.
- Fred Eckhardt
The beer may be new, but the style is quite traditional. This is classic Flemish sour ale, where the beer’s malty sweetness is balanced beautifully by quenching tartness, not hop bitterness. Indeed, Zoetzuur is Flemish for “sweet and sour”. Underlying notes of caramel-coated sour cherry, and a hint of almond add intrigue. Another excellent example of beer being produced by a growing contingent of small, Belgian craft brewers.
- John Hansell
Author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Sake (USA).
John Hansell writes about beer, wine and spirits. He is the creator, publisher and editor of Malt Advocate a magazine for the whiskey advocate.
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