De Brabandere Brewery in Belgium has recently created three Petrus sour beers by used brewing methods dating back to the 1800s. They use 100-year-old giant oak barrels, which grow wild yeast and probiotic (like yogurt) bacteria inside giving beer a sour taste. The first of the three I'll be trying is Petrus Oud Bruin, the other two being Petrus Aged Red and Petrus Aged Pale.
The basis of this Oud Bruin is Saaz aroma hops and pale malt and it has been aged for two years in a giant oak foeder or barrel. 5.5% in volume the Flemish red-brown beer is a blend of 33% Petrus Aged pale and 67% young brown beer. The barrel and dark brown beer contribute to the dark brown reddish colour. On first opening there was sourness to the smell akin to cider. On pouring the beer into my waiting beer glass this was clearly not cider. I was expecting a yeasty flavour as yeast had been mentioned a lot in the information sent to me. The wild yeast had mixed well with the malt and hops and didn't materialise in the flavour. There was a heavy hit of sourness on first taste. The sourness keeps on giving from the initial flavour right through to the aftertaste. Of course there is sweetness here from the malts that distracts the tastebuds slightly in the middle, but the sour fruity bitterness from the hops coupled with the woody tang from the foeder dominate this sumptuous riot of flavour. This is a really fulsome tasty beer that makes me regret only having one and yet look forward to reviewing the other two beers in the future. As they say in Belgium; à votre santé