Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bellegams Bruin

The first time I had this beer I was at the local beer-topia of Twenty Tap.  My lady and I have a pension for sours and on the beer list was Brugge's oft respected Harvey and Bockor's Bellegam Bruin.  An improptu sour off was decided.  I had no idea what kind of beer I was getting other than the style being listed as "sour."  The waitress dropped off the lady's straw colored Harvey and my deep copper Oud Bruin and the server informed me is was a Flanders Sour ale.  Ooh!  Like Monk's Cafe!

Bockor's Bellegam Bruin was instantly delicious and tart.  Monk's Cafe is also delightfully sour, but other than that, the flavors tend to be under powered and leather bland.  Bellegams malts are big and sweet and all their flavors come through beautifully.

A West Flanders Brown ale is a bottom fermented ale with caramelized malts and mixed with lambic and finally aged in oak barrels for 18 months.

Typical to the style, a vinegar nose lights up the saliva glands and the first tastes of sweet malts and bready yeasts give way to a comfortable tart bitterness.   Bellegam's Bruin has a nice meaty-ness to it and really tucks the sour nicely into the brown ale's inherent cherry plums and round sweetness.

It's not overwhelmingly good, but neither is it as bland as the more popular Monk's Cafe.  It is very approachable for a sour and is great with red meat or especially Twenty Tap's savory and tangy Mush-reuben.

And in case you were wondering, my choice of the Oud Bruin won the sour taste off.

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