1001 Beers: Monks Cafe Flemish Sour Ale

Beer Number 42: Brouwerij Van Steenberge Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale

When I started to throw the 1001 Beers list into an Excel spreadsheet, there were a few beers that really caught my eye. Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale was one of them. Why? Well, I love the Flanders Style and I even brewed a Flanders Red not too long ago. I have only had American examples so this one was going to be a real treat to me. I think this one is classified as an Oud Bruin, but whatever.

It seems as if this beer has some ties to America and that their old school brewing methods are no longer in place.

Today, the brewery is a modern operation with a computerized brewhouse and bottling line. The brown ale has become something of an infrequently brewed footnote to a range that majors on stronger specialties and contracts–a shame given the rarity of the style. It received a boost in 2002 when the Monk’s Cafe beer bar in Philadelphia asked the brewery to supply the ale and relabeled it as their own brand, “Flemish Sour”. Unlike the better-known examples, it’s matured in metal rather than wooden cask, which some say makes it harsher. However, it’s still refreshing enough to count as an indulgent Burgundian pleasure.

Due to my pour the nose was a bit hard to pick out but it was sour, funky and cherry like. Deep brown and red with a big brown head… insanely big… I know the bottle was not infected but I mean, you see the picture.

Slightly tart, but not that sour at all. Cherry flavors and a light to medium body. Very easy drinking with some citrus and a touch of grain. Overall though, refreshing. I did not find this beer harsh at all, I have no idea what they are talking about. I actually thought it was really great.

959 Bottle Of Beer To Go!


1001 Beers: Monks Cafe Flemish Sour Ale

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