Essential Info

  • Color: Dark red to Burgundy/reddish-brown
  • ABV: 4.5%-7%
  • Commercial Examples: Rodenbach Classic, Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale, Brouwerij Verhaeghe Douchesse De Bourgogne

Another tart expression of a specific region and brewing tradition—because that’s how Belgians like it. Flemish (Flanders) Red Ale gets its name from its birthplace, the West Flanders region of Belgium, and its color, which usually ends up somewhere along the lines of the ruby to deep red/burgundy end of the spectrum. The color kind of hints at the flavor to come: complex fruit flavors (black cherries, orange, red currants), which play into some Munich and Vienna malts, with vanilla or chocolate notes borrowed from the oak aging process, and varying degrees of sourness to zing it all up (thanks to Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces incorporated into the brewing process). The Rodenbach brand is probably the way to go for your your first try. The most wine-like beer there is, in terms of flavor (and, coincidentally, appearance).