Green Flash Brewing’s Flanders Drive is a Flemish-style sour Red Ale that was released for the brewery’s 10th anniversary in 2012. Chuck Silva, brewmaster, toyed with the idea of creating a Flemish-style red for while. But when they found their new brewery location with a cross street named “Flanders Drive,” the idea seemed destined for reality. The beer was brewed using standard mixed fermentation methods which include standard ale yeast, brettanomyces, and acid producing bacteria: lactobacillus and pediococcus. The beer was then aged in bourbon barrels for over year. This beer had a very limited release in the San Diego area. A friend who works for the brewery was able to obtain one for me. I’m glad he did.
Appearance: Hazy garnet/brown with a tan head. Good retention.
Aroma: Sour cherries, caramel, tobacco, balsamic, leather, tart and herbal notes
Taste: This beer has a very round and savory mouthfeel. There are bourbon notes of caramel and vanilla with a peppery finish.
Overall Impression: I was a little concerned with the use of bourbon barrels. That usually indicates the use of new oak. New oak has a lot of tannins, which can be unpleasant when combined with the sour flavors of a Flemish Red. This was not the case. The beer was balanced with the bourbon/oak adding nice nuances. It had a really good level of tartness without being overly aggressive or too timid. I know that Green Flash is renowned for their hops, but I hope they continue down the sour road as well. This was a really nice beer and good sour.
Availability: In the San Diego area (if any is left)