Vlaamsbruin provisie-bier (beer for storage) is a blend beer brewed according to the Oudenaardse tradition. This beer has a confined bitterness and a delicate sweet-sour balance due to its maturing of 12 to 18 months. It is exceptionally suitable for beer-food-pairing or storage, which will refine its taste further. This beer yields complex tastes of barley, a hint of caramel, cherries, raisins, wood and …
The passion for this beer came to me when I became acquainted with one of the first distributors of Belgian beers in the Netherlands: Remmo Jagersma in 1979. He brought me the Liefmans Goudenband in 37.5cl bottle with a paper wrapper. It was a so-called “commission beer” and had a freshly sour soft taste that became more smooth with age. Even though the taste of Liefmans has become sweeter and the beer is also darker and stronger than before, still, this beer is one of my favorite beers.
The challenge brewing this beer type is to find a balance between sweet and sour. During aging, the sweetness disappears slowly and the acidity increases. Today many brewers tackle this challenge by pasteurizing, but that is not an option for us.
Hence, we accept that the beer continues to evolve and become more sour with time, while this sourness will be mild in character.
The beer is brewed with a portion of roasted barley, which does not cause the dark color, but which, in combination with a long (three to four hours) cooking time and very little hops, becomes a beer that is easy to preserve.
Our Flemish-brown beers have undergone mixed fermentation, first, there is the usual fermentation of three weeks and then a lactic acid fermentation, which takes six to eight weeks. After one to two years ripening, the old beer is blended with young beer. From that moment ripening on the bottle begins, which usually takes between three to six months.