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Beer – #1052 – North End – Salt and Wood Baby Grand

North End Salt and Wood Baby Grand. Seems that you never see a Flanders Red and then you see a bunch of them. I like many styles of beer, and the Flanders Red would be near the top of the list, up there with the Barley Wines, and the Abby Quads, Saisons, IPLs, and ESB’s.

I mentioned in the video that I’m listening to th 2nd Album, of course it’s the 3rd. It always is.

There is no doubting

This is a 500ml bottle of a beer that is a low 6% ABV, and only 5 IBU things, and around 180 calories a serve size, this would be 2.3 standard drinks in NZ

North End Salt and Wood Baby Grand is brewed by North End Brewing Co  at Waikanae Beach, New Zealand. It is in the style that is a Sour – Flanders Red / Bruin ale.

The first release from our barrel aging program.

Grand Baby

Baby Grand has been blended from the barrels that will eventually become our ‘Grand Cru’ aged Flemish Red Ale.

On brew day we combined a range of rich European red malts , a little corn, some oats and a handful of Waimea hops. The beer was then fermented with our clean American ale yeast before being transferred to two former Bordeaux Blend Red Wine barrels where the magic began to happen.

There is no doubting that Baby Grand is youthful and full of barrel fruit and oak, an exciting preview of what is to come

The red ales of Flanders are the balsamic emperors of Belgian beer. Tart, complex and deeply fruity they are the product of long slow aging in wooden barrels. Baby Grand takes inspiration from Flanders and from the Bordeaux style wines of the Hawkes Bay resulting in a tart deeply fruity complex beer aged for 18 months in French oak cabernet sauvignon barrels

So, What could possibly go wrong?

Well having got the album underway, not much.

This open with a lovely aroma, right on the money as far as Flanders Red goes for me fruity sour.

The pour is like golden treacle orange, and it sits in the glass looking flat and morose, a few and scant bubbles around the top clinging to the glass.

It looks great.

The taste is interesting, there is the expected low sourness, and this has more than a hint of woodiness about it. The fruitless level is quite high and for that this feels like a properly real fruity beer.

But there’s a gap in this, where it could do with something firmer and more aggressive just after that sourness washes over, it feel just a little empty and lacking in the middle. However it really gets it giddy up for a grandstand finish that is lovely and rather lovely, big fruit, big fullness, loud, almost our of character.

This isn’t a two tone beer, one thing then another, it flows remarkably well through it’s journey but I really wanted a bit more of a carry in the middle bit.  Nothing but nitpicking.

I really wanted it to be firmer, and I let it warm for a goodly time, and although it became overall nicer and firmer it still didn’t lift where I thought it needed it. Doesn’t put me off thought as I’d easy go another.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. This is lovely beer in the Flanders Red Style that I really liked, IT looks lovely and has great aroma, but I think it needed to carry itself more in the middle.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? The local Luquorland of course.
  • Am I enjoying it? It is really nice , yes
  • Would I have another? Absolutely this is a brilliant style of beer some someone that doesn’t like sours 🙂
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Probably yes, this is a nice beer that has all the good things going for it, and is somewhat like a wine in the way you can approach drinking it, I think it would be a beer that might split opinions though, so for that yes, totally.

Music for this:  Who Built The Moon? by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on Spotify – I’m playing on vinyl, listen along.

The 3rd Album, not quite as good as the 2nd, so which one did I buy…..


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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