DE PROEFBROUWERIJ FLANDERS FRED REVIEW
Who is Alan Sprints?
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company out of Portland Oregon makes some of the Pacific Northwest’s most delicious beers. Head brewer Alan Sprints brewed up one of those big beers, a massively flavorful American barleywine (they call it a golden strong ale) named Fred, and blended it with the guys at De Proef, who brought a number of Flanders based lambics to the mix. The result is known as De Proefbrouwerij Flanders Fred, the 6th in the ‘Brewmasters Collaboration Series’ from De Proef.
Orange with a white, frothy top, Flanders Fred smells a bit malty and of apples. The tastes are multifold; very fruity, with sour apple dominating, balanced by a nice sweet finish. At first blush this tastes like it is going to overwhelm you with sourness, but the finish makes the overall flavors only gently sour, allowing all the fruit and Belgian yeast notes and some barnyard to come through. The hops are noticeable, but only as a bit player. The carbonation is just brisk enough to deal with the significant body. Finish is tart and sweet, with the green apple lingering on my tongue. A delight to drink.
De Proefbrouwerij Flanders Fred is a delicious beer that even the sour beer novice will love. Collaboration beers rarely work for me. In this case however, the best elements of sour, fruity Flanders lambics, blended with an intensely flavorful barleywine, make something even better than the sum of its parts. Both brewmasters distinctive styles are clearly on display in this refreshing, exquisite brew. As the sixth in De Proef’s ‘Brewmaster’s Collaboration Series’, having previously paired up with brewmasters at Lost Abbey, Allagash, and Terrapin, I can’t help but feel I’ve missed some other amazing projects. I am such a fan of this beer I plan to seek out next years Collaberation Series beer, as well as anything else Dirk Naudts at De Proef is bottling. You should too.