Kriek De Ranke

This beer is brewed by two guys named Nino and Guido. I thought we should get his out of the way first, as it’s kinda awesome. Anywho, the story behind this beer is also pretty interesting. The tale begins when Nino and Guido were commissioned to brew a relatively lame pale ale for a local pub. The beer turned out fine at first, but it was lightly hopped and some wild yeast made its way into the beer, so it quickly turned sour. In desperation, they turned to the old Belgian proverb: “When life gives you sour beer, make Kriek.”

Kriek  De Ranke Fancy Packaging

It took experimentation, a crapload of sour cherries, and blending with true lambic beer (a distinction that’s probably best saved for another post), but they eventually settled on a recipe that became this beer. I bought it totally on a whim because my local beermonger said it’s really good and that it wouldn’t last. Plus: it’s got one of them fancy paper wrappings around the bottle (which is good, as the bottle is green)…

Kriek De Ranke

Kriek De Ranke – Pours a maroonish red color with a finger of quickly disappearing, light pink head. Smell is filled with wild funky aromas that signal sour to me, with some fruitiness apparent. The taste winds up being very sweet, but there’s a bit of bitterness in the finish and a lot of earthiness to balance out that sweetness. There’s a fruity tartness to it, but nothing overpowering, and it plays really well against the sweet and earthy components. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but well carbonated. Well balanced, flavorful, and composed, it never falls into cough-syrup or cloyingly sweet territory, so this is a very nice beer. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 7% ABV bottled (750 ml capped). Drank out of a tulip glass on 6/30/12.

I’ve had mixed feelings about De Ranke in the past, but they make some interesting stuff too, and this is probably my favorite beer I’ve had from them…

2 thoughts on “Kriek De Ranke”

  1. I think I might be able to find this. I have had their Pere Noel. I can’t remember it well, which probably means it was neither bad nor great. I will have to keep an eye out for this one. I like some sweetness in my funky sours.

  2. Pere Noel is on my list for this year’s holiday beer extravaganza, though again, my experience with De Ranke has been mixed. They make a beer called Guldenberg (or something like that) that I think would be fantastic if the bottles didn’t explode once opened (thus decreasing the carbonation considerably).

    Anywho, I’m not super experienced with lambics, but this seems like a pretty darn good example of the stuff… Worth seeking out. It’s apparently not super common, but I’ve seen it at a couple places lately, so who knows?


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