The Petrus line of beers was created by the Bavik Brewery in the mid-1980′s to celebrate their 100 year anniversary in 1984. To this day, Bavik is a family owned brewery and because of their success, one of the largest independent breweries in Belgium. This line includes the Oud Bruin, a Wood-Aged Pale Ale, Tripel, a Winter Ale, and a Belgian Speciale. Brouwerij Bavik also brews Bavik, a pilsner, and Wittekerke, a Belgian wit. The Bavik link above leads to their Belgian website which is available in Flemish or French. Their US importer, Global Beers, has a solid translation of their materials at globalbeer.com.
Like Flemish Reds, Flemish Oud Bruins are a blend of old wood-aged beer and young beer, which is added to help balance the sourness and flavor. While the beer styles are similar, they aren’t the same. The Reds have a much more intense brettanomyces character and are a bit lighter in color. The bruins are darker with more caramel like flavors and lack the barnyard character that is typical of brett.
Appearance: Brown with ruby highlights. Tan head with solid retention.
Aroma: Bing cherries, plums, prunes, brown sugar with light notes of toffee.
Taste: Dried dark fruits with just a hint of roasted grains or coffee. A nice, but light bit of tartness and a really velvety mouthfeel.
Overall Impression: This is a very enjoyable beer, especially at the friendly price point. It’s a very nice example of a Flemish Oud Bruin. If you get a chance, open it side by side with a bottle of Rodenbach Original so you can truly test the differences between the Red and the Bruin.
Availability: Nationally at shops that carry good Belgian beers.