Monday, May 01, 2006


Red Beer Day

Red may not be my favorite colour, but I quite fancy the red colours on the Norwegian calendar for May. Today, May 1, is the reddest of them all. This beer tourist thought that was worth celebrating with one of the reddest beers around, the Schaerbeekse Kriek from 3 Fonteinen.

True, there are several high-quality oude krieks around, including another one from 3 Fonteinen. Yet, this is the only one using traditional cherries from the Brussels borough of Schaarbeek- most of the others have resorted to cherries from the province of Limburg. And few others add as much as 350 grams of whole cherry fruit to be steeped in lambiek per liter kriek.

In a previous post I have praised their Vintage Geuze (from 2002, they started brewing lambiek in 1999 after being "just" a geuze blender since 1953). This is a brewery that is as innovative as it is traditional- no wonder they ended up on the twelfth place of world's best brewers according to Ratebeer.

The 3 Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek has a deep red colour with orange tones and a fine, pink head. The aroma is full of cherries and lemon and some wood, while flavours starts with cherries as you might expect, and then develops lemony and vanilla notes before an almondy, dry finish. It is a complex, yet soft kriek that meets the world-class standard set by 3 Fonteinen.

An extraordinary beer on a day celebrating equality....

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