Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal is the quintessential farmhouse brewery, located north east of Brussels. On the farm they grow their own grains and hops that are used in the brewery.
In the last few years, they seem to have a sharper focus on the sour and wild yeast beers. One of their most renowned beers is Zure Van Tildonk (literally ‘sour of Tildonk’), their version of a spontaneously fermented blond sour. They started by filling 20 buckets with some of the wort and placing that around the farmhouse. Tasting each sample, they selected the best one to culture the yeast which they now use for this beer.
The Kriek sees a batch of Zure Van Tildonk further matured for a period of 6 months with 35kg of sour cherries from nearby farm, per 100 litres of beer.
First off, the colour is a lovely purple with a fluffy head the dissipates rapidly to settle quite still, albeit there are big bubbles of carbonation in the mouthfeel. The aroma is of tart cherries and Brettanomyces yeast, with wood, leather and a fruity aspect.
If anything, the tart and sourness is more pronounced in the taste than the smell. Fruity sweetness from those cherries, lots of oak notes with leather and an earthiness. The sourness really lasts well into the aftertaste.