Scarenbecca Kriek is a beer produced by Hanssens Artisanaal, who happens to be the oldest independent gueuze blender in the world. They blend 100 percent of the beers it produces, which means Hanssens doesn’t brew any of its own beer.

Rather, it receives previously brewed beer, or wort, from other breweries and all of the beer they use is fermented in the traditional lambic style where no yeast is added, but warm wort is left overnight in order to have wild yeast strains take over the beer and cause spontaneous fermentation. Hanssens uses multiple blends beers from different breweries of different ages and then ages them in barrels and often adds fruit to further the depth of the beer.

Scarenbecca Kriek is blended with 100 percent young lambic beer and 100 percent Schaarbeekse cherries. These cherries are a rare morello variety from Belgium and are naturally sour to the taste.

It pours an intensely deep red with basically zero carbonation. The red is incredibly rich and it looks very much like juice or even blood it is such an intense hue of red. The smell is really incredible and there is truly a bouquet of aromas happening; I am smelling a lot of funk and vinegar, musty oak and a huge amount of cherry. There are some hints of leather, lemon peel, sweet berry and acidity, also some yeast and sweetness on the back end.

Hanssens Scarenbecca KriekThe taste is a huge sour cherry juice up front, it’s followed by red wine vinegar, oak and very tart citrus. Some other flavors are are undertones of funk, earthiness and sweet malt. There is a whole lot of acidity in this one was well, I think due to the lack of carbonation there is nothing to cut the sourness. The beer is very thick on the tongue and almost drinks like a wine since the carbonation isn’t there.

Note: After reading about the beer the, lack of carbonation is a very common issue it seems.

Hanssens Scarenbecca Kriek
BREWERY: Hanssens Artisanaal
LOCATION: Dworp, Belgium
STYLE: Fruited Lambic
ABV: 6 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $27
RELEASE DATE: 2010 (Bottled 2015)
AVAILABLE IN: 375ml bottles
BEERS POURED: One
Scarenbecca Kriek was an incredibly solid beer even without the carbonation, but it would have been nice to get a bottle with some carb. The beer has a really great strong cherry flavor, so if that is a fruit you enjoy in sours, I have yet to find one with more of a punch you in the face cherry profile. Even with the big cherry presence the oak, funk and other flavors listed above really help balance this beer very well. It is a beer worth seeking out and trying no doubt and hopefully if you get one you’ll win the carbonation lottery and get a good bottle.
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