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Beer – #1005 – Craftwork – Bruxelles Ma Belle

Craftwork Bruxelles Ma Belle – Beer over Apricots, and that could be interesting, hopefully as tasty as it sounds in my head.

Best drunk fresh

This 500ml bottle of a beer is 7% ABV and that’s about 185 calories a serve, this is 2.8 standard drink units of beer.

Brewed by Craftwork in the style that is of a  Sour / Wild Ale and they do it on Oamaru, a lovely part of New Zealand.

Fresh Drunk

A mixed fermentation ‘sour’ ale , Zinneke, blended with our one year old spontaneous O’ambic.

Then on North Otago Apricots for 6 months.
Bottle conditioned.
Best drunk fresh as apricot flavour fades.
Silver medal, NZBGA 2016. Silver AIBA 2018.  Label art: Robin Crawford & Michael O’Brien

So, What could possibly go wrong?

Well it’s very lively in the bottle with the imminent danger of over-foaming, and then it pours noisy hissy with again the surge of rising head, but I’m an expert and no beer was spilt. And then because of the fear of over-spill I hadn’t poured it all, and when I did the beer clouds up and darkens from its bright start.

Aroma is pretty much a standard sour ale thing, there’s nothing on it to suggest flavour about to be enjoyed

The taste is of an extremely dry beer, deep dull dryness that bites away at the tongue at the back.

Of Apricots I get none

I convince myself that I don’t like sour beers in general, I’ve found them underwhelming, underdone and unbalanced, with the sourness a powdery uninteresting addition. Not this though, this is that proper tartness the sour biting kind.

It isn’t however hard to get on with, or eye scruntchingly tart, it just is the beer, and as it warms it settles down, and lo! there is some of a fruit note lurking there, I should have more patience and let it warm before I pour.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 of its things from the thing. Thuddingly dry. Tartness sparks up and is wonderful, not that powdery sort, the properly sour sort. Apricots though? Still loved it.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? The local Liquorland
  • Am I enjoying it? Yes, because it’s properly nice soured ale.
  • Would I have another? I probably would
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? yes, because there are so few sour ales that are sensibly sour and nicely done, this is a great example of a style that I don’t like but that I’m really enjoying.

Music for this:  Egypt Station by Paul McCartney on the Spotify

I know, it shouldn’t be good, and honestly some of his recent work has been dour. This though seems to rediscovery of his style and comfortable pace with lyrics and melody.


Sour ale is a broad spectrum of wild ales, from the fruity and acetic Flanders Red Ales and Oud Bruins, to the experimental ales gaining popularity in the United States which use lactobacillus, brettanomyces and pediococcus in new and wild ways


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This entry was posted on September 8, 2018 by in Beer, Beer of New Zealand, Beer Review, Brewed By, Craft Beer, craftwork, Critic, Sour/Wild Ale and tagged .

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