1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,304 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,304
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.06%
Wants: 50
Gots: 156 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed for Monk's Café in Philadelphia, but also available for retail purchase elsewhere. Oud Bruin in style; a traditional blend of young and old beers.

(Beer added by: nomad on 06-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,304 | Reviews: 1,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bulldogg915


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

03-06-2014 21:35:18 | More by bulldogg915
Photo of SmellsofMahagony


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

04-12-2013 02:09:09 | More by SmellsofMahagony
Photo of campfirebrew

New York

2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

10-11-2013 12:04:13 | More by campfirebrew
Photo of ravot


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

02-13-2013 16:43:59 | More by ravot
Photo of josephwa


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

06-25-2013 21:02:22 | More by josephwa
Photo of MasterEzra

2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

07-01-2012 21:20:41 | More by MasterEzra
Photo of denver10


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

03-16-2012 15:34:22 | More by denver10
Photo of attometer00


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

02-03-2012 22:17:02 | More by attometer00
Photo of treyrab


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Was in the mood for a light sour, so I grabbed this one off an Ohio beer store shelve and poured into my glass...

A: Pours a very clear ruby red with a nice off white head. Look is very nice with ruby, crystal clear hues with plentiful carbonation and a very nice, creamy head.

S: Red wine vinegar up front with some underlying flavors of cherry, and some spice, but vinegar is by far the most prevalent.

T: Light sour grapes with vinegar. Not very good, very light. The grapes are putrid and the vinegar is watered down into the grape taste. Not pleasant.

Overall, this was vinegar galore with some underlying flavors that could not pass the vinegar taste. Not recommended.

08-18-2009 01:34:48 | More by treyrab
Photo of JimKal

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

04-28-2012 12:50:47 | More by JimKal
Photo of jophish17


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

12-24-2011 12:24:09 | More by jophish17
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

01-10-2013 19:12:37 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of Johnny69


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

09-19-2013 02:03:09 | More by Johnny69
Photo of ryanonline


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

looks like a nice brownish red flemish ale, lots of tan head and decent lacing. sort of opaque but just barely has some clarity to it.

smells light and sour, no hop presence and light on the sweet malts. maybe a slight bready yeast aroma.

the tast is rather off putting. It has virtually no real sour elements and is still very light on hops and malt, I practically taste nothing. Very odd.

the mouthfeel is thin and watery with a dry finish and a bit of foamy yet non aggressive carbonation.

drinkability is fairly high, due to the light nature, but it is not very tasty and, as such, i wouldn't want more than one.

overall, this beer sets you up to expect good things, but it kind of lets you down.

06-01-2012 23:40:04 | More by ryanonline
Photo of tatums1984

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

01-18-2012 08:43:54 | More by tatums1984
Photo of jimmygord


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

04-30-2013 02:16:49 | More by jimmygord
Photo of gcotts


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

01-16-2012 00:49:39 | More by gcotts
Photo of BMMillsy


2.51/5  rDev -34.6%

Pours dark red with a fizzy head that recedes quickly. Smell is faint and not what I wad expecting. Smells like a weak dubbel or belgian strong dark. Not much sour on the nose. Flavor tastes like carbonated artificial cherry drink. No real sour flavor to be found. Not what I wanted, and rather disappointing. Finishes as clean as a Bud Light. Doesn't taste terrible, but misses the bar as a beer. Maybe okay as an energy drink or coming out of a Capri Sun package. Wtf is this?

10-17-2013 01:52:06 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of AgentMunky


2.53/5  rDev -34.1%

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a brandy snifter. Stamped 08KK 17:46.

A: A finger and a half of rich head bubbles and collapses on itself fairly quickly. The beer is barely translucent mahogany brown.

S: Poop, metal, dead skunk, and spoiled wine. This is utterly abysmal. The worst smelling beer of all time? It has not a single redeeming feature.

T: I don't like it...I wonder if something is the matter. The first 2/3 of the flavor is metallic, thin, sour, and poor. However, the last third of the taste really opens up. Fruit (grape soda), wine, tasty sourness, and candy sweetness. The aftertaste is lingeringly (sour) yeasty and perhaps the best aspect of the beer.

M: Smooth (like juice) with a tinge of carbonation. Decent. Grape juice is a recurring theme.

O: I am a pretty generous reviewer, but this is just...unacceptable. Maybe it's better on tap? At any rate, definitely NOT recommended. I will never drink this beer again.

04-25-2012 05:41:38 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of russwbeck


2.53/5  rDev -34.1%

A: Clear red pour with a fizzy white head. I was quite surprised at the vigor with which the head rose from the brew. Lacing is spotty, and retention is not great.

S: The smell is quite interesting and complex. The sour and funk rest in the background of a sweet and fruity nose. Cherries, oak, malty. Sort of strange.

T: Not what I was expecting, again. No sourness, sort of vinegar-like, no funk. Lots of fruit. Apples, cherries, raspberries, very sweet. Plastic-like finish.

MF: Creamy body, medium, with a high carbonation. Dry and weird aftertaste.

O: Very disappointed here. Well below average, just not very good.

10-31-2011 04:55:53 | More by russwbeck
Photo of TheGordianKnot


2.53/5  rDev -34.1%

Poured into tulip glass...

A- Very deep blood brown color with a finger head. Pale pink colored head that settles to a film quickly.

A- Smells like oil and vinegar salad dressing. Subtle fruitiness makes it reminiscent of raspberry vinaigrette...

T/M- This is definitely a raspberry vinaigrette beer. Not quite what I expected. Body is oily and heavy with minimal carbonation; very unlike Duchesse which was what I pictured with this beer. I wanted more of that champagne-like flanders. Middle of the flavor is a berry medley, but it changes to a pungent vinegar and just leaves me dissatisfied.

O- Didn't hit my expectations. Just not something I could drink much of. Taste and feel were taxing to get through...

08-30-2011 19:47:23 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of katybee


2.55/5  rDev -33.6%

My first sour ale...this might take a bit of getting used to!

Pours a clear amber brown, and light frothy head which quickly dissipates.

Very light smell, but distinctly not hoppy...somewhat like an aged browned apple.

As an ale, this tastes very different from barley-hops beer. For me, it was similar to a fermented apple cider with less apple, and a little vinegar tartness. Unusual. Very soda-like, with a musky off taste on the tongue. Not as fruity as a [raspberry] lambic, but with no barley or malt character like a wheat beer. No real spiciness I could detect.

The carbonation gave a very soda-like effect, but like soda, and not like champagne. Very light-bodied.

Fortunately, this beverage was alcoholic, which gave a purpose to the drinking of it. The ale might blend well with cheeses and pie or crackers, and as a desert on its own, however the off-ness of the taste, and mild sweet carbonation for me wouldn't sit well with other meals (hamburger, pizza, chicken) and a definite no-no to doritos, onion-flavored chips and barbecue!

A quality taste experience, but not one I'll likely repeat!

03-02-2011 02:57:24 | More by katybee
Photo of hopfacebrew


2.55/5  rDev -33.6%

At recommendation of a colleague I picked up a 4-pack, a little pricey ;(. Anyhow, poured from undated bottle to a Duvel tulip the beer pours a deep copper brown color with some ruby red edges in the light. A small 1/2 finger white bubbly head with some retention and lacing, but nor much. The nose is in my opinion the best aspect of the beer with a detectable sour funk that melds well with the sweet fruity banana, apple, and cheery fruity character. Vinegar type aroma is detectable but not a deterrent. Hints of caramel malt sweetness. The flavor starts very much the same but is immediately overpowered but a strong sweetness that ruins the balance of the beer. Fruity and caramel sweetness dominate the funky sour flavor and mellow characteristics the nose let on. Disappointing. Hints of dark fruit such as raisin in the tail end. Finishes sweet. Medium bodied and decently carbonated. Overall, I feel the sweetness was way too much for this beer, which is really too bad. I sampled 2 bottles to ensure I didn't get a bad one to start, both were the same. I will not be back. It was hard to finish 2, but I felt obligated after such a nice review by a trusted peer. Perhaps this is a bad batch? I will have him sample one of the last 2 and see.

03-15-2012 12:44:30 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of JDV


2.58/5  rDev -32.8%

Bottle courtesy of Humulone_Red. Thank you!
Pours a dark maroon color with an offwhite head. Smell is mild cherry kriek like tartness, but a bit too mild. Taste is like a thin kriek with very light tartness and sweetness. Thin body and carbonation. Just not enough flavor or umpf

04-06-2008 19:41:08 | More by JDV
Photo of Floydster


2.58/5  rDev -32.8%

Pint at Naja's Place

Very very sour, old beer takes over taste of the younger one

Vinegar, cherries, and a little citrus in the taste, but the aroma is mostly vinegar

Very carbonated with a reddish brown color

Buddy had one with me and enjoyed it more than I did, thought it was a little sweeter than most sours, but I thought the opposite

Not my favorite flanders style

09-09-2007 01:06:39 | More by Floydster
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,304 ratings.