Today I have a very interesting beer I found on the shelves of The Four Firkins a few weeks ago. I knew nothing of this beer upon picking it up other than it was from Esen, Belgium and that it was a 9% ABV beer brewed with some funk. From reading their website the De Dolle Brouwers (The Crazy Brewers) appear to be a pair of creative and humble brothers who took the opportunity to take over their brewery from the previous owners when they decided to shut the doors in 1980 and have continued to brew some interesting craft beers including their Oerbier, or Original I have here before me. This beer is bottle conditioned and said to age well but lets get to drinking. Though It was obvious this would be a carbonated beer as soon as I opened the bottle. Pouring it creates a massive four finger bouquet of off white head with loose bubbles that dissipate relatively quickly creating quite a show. Color is a dark and hazy brown hue similar to a date and is completely opaque. Initially I get some gentle tartness and carbonation in the aroma as well as some grain. I am consuming this beer at just below room temperature as it has been sitting out for about 50 minutes and the flavors are quite interestingly subtle. A nice malt backbone with dark pited fruit hints is present providing some sweetness to contrast the interesting but not overpowering tartness and a bit of additional funk that would seem to come from the yeast used in this brew, though their website clarifies that “Since 2000 as the yeast supply ceased, we installed a new yeast propagator. The tart aftertaste is obtained by lactobacterial fermentation (since 2005).” so obviously that isn’t quite the case as lactic acid is used. The mouthfeel of this beer is very carbonated but clean. Body is on the light end of medium. Overall this is an interesting sour beer. Certainly the strongest I have ever consumed at 9% ABV as well as one of the most carbonated. Flavors are reasonably balanced between tart and fermented pitted fruits which certainly makes for an interesting beer. Not a mind blowing beer but a good example of some of the funkiness you can create with beer and something that wouldn’t be a bad choice to sample even in its small 33cl bottle. Give it a shot and ride your bike.