Flounder's RedBACK TO FUN STUFF
Eagle Bay Brewing Co. and Old Bridge Cellars got together to create, Flounders Red, barrel aged Belgian Red ale.
The independently owned, family run businesses, have brought together elegant and intriguing styles from their respective worlds in a beer that playfully references the Flanders Red beer style and a peculiar fish from our seaside homes.
Flounders Red began with French oak barrels that previously held the Old Bridge Cellars’ Beeson family’s Cassiodorus wine. The unique Amarone style wine, pronounced ‘Ama· ro· ne’, is made from partially sun-dried Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which concentrates the flavour, body and acidity, creating wine of exceptional presence, texture and length. This presented a rare collaboration opportunity as Old Bridge Cellars beer specialist Toby Beeson explains. “Usually, once empty, these French oak barrels would be used for other wine for many years after, so it’s really special that these were given to Eagle Bay for our collaboration”
For Eagle Bay, the chance to collaborate with such a bespoke wine was an opportunity to explore one of the world’s great beer styles, the Flanders Red ale. Named after the Dutch speaking region of Northern Belgium, the celebrated style is an oak-aged mixed-fermentation blended sour beer whose wine-like characters have inspired the ‘Burgundy of Belgium’ nickname. The most famous and awarded example is Rodenbach Grand Cru, once known as the best beer in the world.
Eagle Bay Head Brewer Keegan Steinbacher explains more. “The intention was to go back to the classics with this beer collaboration which appealed to me because I like a lot of Belgian stuff. Traditionally, it’s a three-year process to make this style of beer but we’ve now got New World methods that mimic those techniques in a shorter time. This combination of traditional and New World brewing is very exciting”
“We used a Flanders yeast and lactobacillus, which soured the beer, before putting it into ex-Cassiodorus barrels to let it chill out for three months. The result is amazingly complex for a relatively simple process compared to its inspiration. It’s sophisticated rather than aggressively barrel aged, with a predominantly red wine and cherry character and barrel dryness mid to late palate. It’s one of my favourite beers that I’ve made to date and it also means that we have another barrel to add to our ever-expanding fleet of funky barrels. It’s a bit of fun to call it Flounders Red because we wanted to pay respect to the inspiration without using the exact style name. We’ve called it a Belgian sour Red style but actually it’s ended up closer to Flanders style than I expected, albeit without the heavy funk”
Expect aromas of booze-soaked cherries, French oak and hints of grapefruit. Bright sour acidity leads the palate which softens as Flounders Red warms, opening up notes of cherry pie, red wine, maple syrup, dried fruit and chocolate. The mouthfeel remains full with barrel tannins providing dryness through the lengthy and refreshing conclusion, or as Keegan says “It’s rich, velvety and elegant”
Local artist Ian Mutch collaborated on the label, which includes our favourite things from the communities and supporters of North Fremantle and Eagle Bay as Toby Beeson explains. “The beer is based on an old style but it’s super fun. It’s quirky and so is the label” “On brew day we wrote down a list of the stuff that we wanted on the label and then we decided to put it all in there. That’s a true collaboration!” Look out for pets, lighthouses, sheep, coffee, dhufish, Dingo Flour, post codes, smiles and more that reflect where we live and celebrate with family and friends.
Our Flounders Red collaboration represents the marriage of Italian inspired, intense Cabernet Sauvignon imbued oak barrels with a classic Belgian sour beer style, made with friends in our West Australian home. Cheers
A little more info about the brew:
Booze: 6.4% ABV
Yeast: Flanders ale & lactobacillus plantarum
Other fun stuff: Three months barrel aged in ex-Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon Amarone French oak barrels.
The lowdown: Barrel aged, lightly sour, rich and elegant.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Eagle Bay in-store or delivered to your doorstep via our website
Old Bridge Cellars, North Fremantle
Besk Bottle Shop, West Leederville
Mane Liquor, Ascot