Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sudden Death!

I would imagine that for most people, when asked the question “what is beer?”, the majority would say something along the lines of “a drink made from grain, hops, water and yeast” – obviously this was what the writers of the Reinheitsgebot had in mind when they set forth the rules for beer brewing in Bavaria and then later on throughout Germany.
Somebody forgot to tell the Belgians, and thank goodness for that. In particular somebody forgot to tell the makers of fruit beers – random unrelated point, why do people bother with alcopops when fruit beer exists? When on a French shop shelf I saw bottles of a Kriek called Mort Subite, my first thought was “is this the kriek from Brussels which I have read about?” – simple answer, yes it is. Chuck a couple in the basket and walk briskly away trying not to think about the strange looks from locals because your basket is full of booze and none of it wine.

Mort Subite was to be my drink of choice for that night’s dinner – my parents’ preference for white wine tends more toward the sweet side, which is not really my thing, I like something on the dry side of Arizona. Mrs Velkyal was cooking that night, playing with her belated birthday present, a pasta roller – home-made ravioli in a cream sauce for dinner then.

Back to the beer, and just popping open the cork was to be rushed with the fragrance of cherries. No messing around here then, fruit by name, fruit by nature. As you can see from the picture, it is a very red beer, and the head was distinctly pink. Guess what it smelt like, erm yes cherries, but also like the powdered sherbert that I loved as a kid. Tastewise it was a revelation – I was expecting a sweet cloying flavour, but au contraire this was tart and acidic balanced out with a sweetness in the aftertaste, and as I did expect lots of fruitiness. The body was smooth and velvety and boy does this go well with creamy pasta!
Magnificent is quite simply the only word that would do this beer justice. I can imagine sitting on a veranda during a balmy Southern summer with this for refreshment and being very happy with my lot in life.


  1. We had a bottle of Belle Vue Kriek in our fridge for months - it was there so long we couldn't recall where it came from. I'd never liked the idea of fruit beers, so I'd put off trying it until I ran out of everything else. Glad I did - it was a nice surprise. Definately one for summer.

    A couple of months back I tried 'Craven Kriek' by Naylor's of Keighley - which I think is their " Stoney’s Trippel ‘S' " with cherry added. It was very odd, but surprisingly drinkable.

  2. We think Mort Subite is much nicer than Belle Vue.

  3. I'm a big fan of Mort Subite kriek -- can't drink anything sweeter so don't like Belle Vue either.

  4. I find Belle Vue tastes artificial - and as it was the first kriek I tried a few years back it kind of put me off. This one though has made me happy to try others.

  5. Fruit beer is not a style I've explored at all. I'll be in Belgium later this year so I'll give them a proper go.


The Genius of Marketing

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