Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste - VanderGhinste Roodbruin

Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste - VanderGhinste Roodbruin

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Oud Bruin



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Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste - VanderGhinste Roodbruin

  • ABV:

  • Bottle Size:

  • Serving Temperature:

    45-55° F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Tulip, Snifter, Oversized Wine Glass

Known originally as Ouden Tripel, then Oud Bruin, and now as Roodbruin, or Redbrown in the U.S., this impressive beer was awarded a gold medal and named Best Oud Bruin at the 2014 World Beer Awards. It’s produced as a blend of 70% fresh brown ale and 30% spontaneously fermented lambic aged 18 months in foeders (a type of huge barrel commonly used for long-term aging in Belgium). Beer writer and Rare Beer Club founder, Michael Jackson, considered the sour ales of Belgium to be the most wine-like of beers, and it’s hard to argue against that perspective when encountering a beer like this.

On the pour, we get a rich dark brown color with reddish highlights and a cap of beige foam. The fruity esters that are so central to Flemish red ales and oud bruins are immediately apparent in the aroma. Sour cherry, blackberry, and raspberry impressions, in particular, jump right out. Look for those fruity notes to burst forth upfront on the palate too, with waves of raisin, cherry, plum, and more riding atop a deep malty caramelization that underpins everything beautifully, along with a bit of a sherry-like quality. The sourness of the 18-month aged foederbier grips hard on the first sip but relaxes to a moderate tartness as we progress. We loved this beer’s incredible balance between its moderate caramelized sweetness and that prominent fruity tartness, and for us the overall character is something between the savoriness of a delicious meal and the indulgence of the ensuing dessert. For pairing options, we’re thinking venison or other game meats, stews, Boeuf Bourguignon, buttery lobster, shrimp, or prawns, sharp aged cheeses, cedar plank salmon, or roast duck in cherry sauce. Cheers!

The family brewery bearing the name of Omer Vander Ghinste was founded in 1892 when Remi Vander Ghinste bought a house, along with accompanying buildings, for his son Omer. The 23-year-old Omer began brewing that same year, producing a traditional Flemish sour ale he called Ouden Tripel – which is still produced today under the name Vanderghinste Roodbruin. Omer distributed barrels of his beer throughout the area around his town of Bellegem via horse and carriage. In 1901, Omer married Marguerite Vandamme, the granddaughter of the founder of another local brewery named Brasserie LeFort. They soon had a son, who they also chose to name Omer. Little could they know it would be a theme that would repeat throughout the next century as Omer after Omer were born into this brewing family, solidifying the brand name. When Marguerite’s grandfather Felix died in 1911, she inherited both his brewery and his many pubs and cafes, leading to a significant increase in the young couple’s business and an increase in brewing operations at their Bellegem brewhouse, which took over all of LeFort’s production.

During World War I, Omer stayed for a short period in Paris where he lived near a Dominican monastery dating to 1218 named Hospice Saint-Jacques in the Rue des Jacobins. It was this experience that inspired his creation of the sour aged ale Cuvée des Jacobins, which ushered in a growing array of new beers including the creation of a popular Czech-style pilsner in 1929. 1933 saw the birth of Omer III, who would go on to take over operations in the 1960s. In 1964, Omer IV was born, and he joined the business in the early ‘90s around the time that Omer V was born in 1993.

This family brewery currently produces a number of traditional Belgian ales which have been repeatedly recognized for excellence with numerous Gold medals at the World Beer Cup, the World Beer Awards, and the European Beer Star Awards, among others. Whether it be blonde ale, tripel, witbier, pilsner, wild ale, or their various strong ales and sours, Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste produces truly world-class beers, and it’s our distinct pleasure to bring you one of our favorites this month. Enjoy!

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