Belgium’s Petrus sour beer range launched in UK

Petrus Aged Pale 33 cl

A range of Belgian sour beers – uniquely made with blonde beer as their base – has been launched in the UK by specialist importer James Clay.

The three high-fermented, oak-age Petrus ales, with a distinctive sour taste, are made at Brewery De Brabandere in Belgium and are available in 33cl bottles and 30-litre kegs.

Petrus Aged Pale, at 7.3% ABV, is aged in large oak foeder vats for 24 months, with a markedly dry taste with the freshness of sour apples, sherry and fruit aromas. The distinctive sour flavour is popular in Belgium and contrasts well with the sweetness of shellfish, oily fish and soft cheese.

It is known as the “Mother Beer” as it was traditionally not bottled but used only as a base for other beers, giving them a fresh slightly sour flavour. It was first bottled in response to demand led by legendary beer writer Michael Jackson in the 1990s. It continues to be used as the base for the other two beers in the Petrus range.

Petrus Oud Bruin, at 5.5% ABV, is a traditional Flemish red brown beer, typical of the Kortrijk and Roeselare region. Aged in oak foeders for two years, it is a blend of 33% Petrus Aged Pale and 67% young, brown beer, accounting for the deep, dark red colour.

Refreshing and relatively light, Petrus Oud Bruin is predominantly sour, but has aromas of dried fruit, cherry and peach, with scents of malt, butter and caramel. It is popular as an aperitif or served with mild cheese and seafood.

Unlike a traditional kriek, Petrus Aged Red is not based on a spontaneously-fermented lambic beer. This unique, dark fruit beer, with ABV of 8.5%, is a blend of 15% Petrus Aged Pale and 85% dubbel bruin with cherries matured for 24 months in oak foeders.

The distinctive sour flavour of Petrus Aged Pale is sweetened by the mild, sweet, ruby-red cherries, resulting in a rich and fruity, yet surprisingly refreshing, slightly sour beer that complements red meat, dark chocolate and blue cheese.

All Petrus sour beers are recommended as best enjoyed in a tulip-shaped glass on a tall stem or large wine glass. With the beers being made through blending, the brewery encourages fans to experiment with mixing the three beers to create original flavours.

Available exclusively via James Clay, the bottles and kegs can be ordered through drinks management agency Boutique Bar Brands, which is handling the De Brabandere account.

Albert De Brabandere, retail manager and son of brewery owner Ignace, said: “For five generations, Brewery De Brabandere has never compromised on taste, quality or ingredients and the Petrus Sour Beers are no exception.

“We are excited to be working with Boutique Bar Brands to bring Petrus Sours back to the home of beer hunter Michael Jackson, who encouraged us to take the Petrus Aged Pale from foeder to bottle.

“Their distinctive flavour has garnered a strong international following and we’re looking forward to hearing about the unique blends created by British beer lovers.”

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