Kriekbier | Brouwerij Liefmans

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262 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-13-2002

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Ratings: 262 |  Reviews: 194
Photo of VoodooBrew
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The nose is full of licorice-- both black and red, and spices and herbs are discernable as well. Up front in the palate is big time fruit-- with the obvious cherry, and a gentle tartness along with that. A complex spice mixture lends a wassail-like character to this beer. Residual sweetness fades into a pleasant finish. This is a satisfying, pleasant beer.

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Photo of texashammer
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tasted on draft at Kulminator in Antwerp -- they claim that Liefmans Kriekbier draft is exclusive to their bar. beautiful pink/orange with pink head that lasts. smells great; tart lambic with cherries, sour, black cherries. more austere than the bottled version; drier. the finish is really dry; it makes me drool.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It looks like something that would have been made from cherries. Has a red hue with golden streams in it.. Very bubbly and vibatious. Holds a fizzy head that disipates relatively quickly. Aromas are moderately sweet from the fruit and grain bill. Tartness comes from the fruit and the sour comes from the Belgians. Woven all together, the flavors are complexly sweet, tart, and sour. Ripened cherries supply rich complexity to an otherwise overly sour beer. Good play on the mouth, round and full, but not heavy. Finishes very dry without warming. Aftertaste lingers well into the next sip with a refreshing tart quality.

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Photo of hero27
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle. Bottle was wrapped up in red paper like a Christmas present.

Pours with a fizzy head that actually recedes fairly quick..leaves not even a hint of lacing, but the dark pink color looks fairly cool in the chalice.
Smells almost dusty and a bit tart..but the aroma is far from overwhelming. Obvious up-front, tart cherry flavor..probably ranks up there with the most sour beer I've ever had.

Syrupy & coating in the mouth..and has a medicinal quality to it..reminded me a bit of cough syrup (but strangely, not in a bad way).
I really don't think it's a Belgian worth the price tag on a regular basis, but a good lambic to try if you're into the style.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.11/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Unwrapped the bottle and poured into a small flute glass. The beer was a dark ruby red color. No head, no carbonation, and no lacing to be seen.

The smell was obvious cherry upfront (almost cough syrup like) with a slight smell of fig and alcohol.

An obvious cherry taste upfront with a bit of a medicinal cherry cough syrup like flavor and consistancy. Tart and dry to the finish with very little sweetness. The alcohol, depsite not being all that high, is readily apparent in each sip. A bit of a wine-y character, almost a flavored brandy like taste.

Very light bodied with ample carbonation.

Was satisfied with the small sample of this that I tried but did not have the dessire to have any more. I can see how this beer might pair well with something light to eat like eggs or a salad but alone, this beer did not leave a dramatic impression on me.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33cl Bottle from The Vineyard, Belfast.

Poured a red / brown colour - quite dark. Poured with a nice creamy, pink head which is quite big to start but dissipates quite quickly. Has quite large beading...

Strong cherry aroma mixed with strawberry ??, vanilla and biscuit. Nice hints of malt too...

Taste – Obviously cherrys, cream. Quite malty and quite tart... Notes of toffee also..

Feel - very smooth and creamy with just the correct amount of tartness. Very, very drinkable...

Overall - an excellent cherry beer...

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12.7 fluid ounce, 375ml green glass bottle wrapped in the familiar red paper which has the words “Liefmans Kriekbier - Biere de Cerises” written in white text. Unwrapped it reveals a cork and cage with a red metal cap which has the date 01/2014, the Best Before Date. Despite the lovely wrapper, the bottle still sports a rather attractive dark red label. Listed at Alc. 5% Vol. and described as ‘Belgian Beer Fermented with Cherries – min. 120 gr. Krieken/liter’. It should also be noted that contrary to the popular misconception, this is NOT a lambic-Kriek, but a Kriekbier, two different things. Liefmans Kriekbier is in fact an Oud Bruin with added Cherries.

Appearance: In my Brussels Café Lop Lop Glass the color grades from a chestnut brown at the bottom to a dark reddish brown at the top, where an off-white froth quickly fizzles down after the pour. The head soon rescinds and leaves a thin covering which breaks but leaves a nice foamy halo throughout. Conditioning is terse and supportive, and at times audible.

Nose: Sour cherry, light sweetness but over balanced with a sharp tart sourness in the finish. The cherry odors smell real and they mix extremely well with the Oud Bruin funk. Musty and earthy at times.

Taste: The flavor profile and the balance here is impressive. The seemingly opposing dimensions of a funky sour Oud Bruin which lends earthy vinegary woody tones and an acidic dryness to the mix, synergistically pivot the fulcrum with sharp cherry fruits and a light sweetness. Has an attractive lingering tartness that accentuates the finish. Enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation lends a very spritzy feel to the experience. Despite the sharp fruity cherries and the funky sometimes acidic Bruin, some sugar feel after the swallow does develop, but it’s not huge. Big feel on the tongue and in the mouth. But a word of warning, swirling this in the mouth can tend to have the effect of redirecting the carbonation up your nose, leading to some sharp cherry nasal burps!!

Drinkability: The juxta-posed sharp skinned cherries and the sour Oud Bruin base beer have a surprisingly refreshing character, which lends a lot of Drinkability.

Overall: It is a while since I have tried the Liefmans Kriekbier, in fact I was only prompted to do so after recently having the Unfiltered and Unsweetened version on draft at the Hotel Erasmus in Brugge during my Easter Trip this year, so I figured I would give it a whirl again. Not a bad idea as I was quite impressed with the offering, for one thing the sour character it seemed to loose some years ago (when brewing was transferred to Riva!?!) appears to have returned. Is it me or has this improved for the better?? Hope so. A nice mix of a Flanders Oud Bruin with Cherries (No, it’s *not* a lambic-kriek!!!) and it works extremely well. As such it doesn’t tend to have the sweetness that some may expect. Ages surprisingly well and in the past when I cellared bottle in the UK, it developed a deeper funky sourness when allowed to do so. Hmmmm, I just may pick up a few more bottles and allow it to do so again.

Worth trying if you haven’t ever had this (Oud Bruin) Kriekbier; and hey if you have, then pick up a bottle again and remind yourself how good this is.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into the flute a rusty red with small head that leaves some lace. Smell is candy and cherries. Taste is tart bubbly cherry with a maraschino liquer finish. Mouthfeel is medium with a nice dry finish. This is an excellent desert brew. Where's the fine chocolate? One would think that with just a little tiny bit of marketing these beers would blow away malternatives with the "oh-so-stylish" crowd.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm really starting to like lambics...
A: Wrapped up like a Christmas present, caged and corked. Pours a murky dark reddish-cinnamon color. Not a whole lot of head on it. I may have poured this one wrong, there's quite a bit of sediment in the glass. That stuff used to scare me for some reason...

S: Nice cherry aroma that smells natural and not overly sweet. Not too funky in the nose. There's an earthy smell (for lack of a more delicate word).

T: Tart and sour with just enough sweetness to keep it from being painful. The cherry taste reminds me of a bunch of unripened cherries. Tastes wild, not in the hoora party sense, more like the Belgian call of the wild sense. Strikes a nice middle ground between the overly sweet blended lambics and the sour as all get out straight lambics.

M: Huge pucker factor. Wow. Really screws your face up in a good way. After the pucker wears off, a super nice sweetness coats the mouth. Fairly high CO2. Alcohol is not noticed at all. Very dry.

D&N: Of the whopping three lambics I've reviewed, this is by far my favorite. Seems to blend the best of both worlds. Not a beer I'd want to have more than one of, but I'm enjoying this one in front of me immensely.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presented in a caged and corked 12.7oz bottle wrapped in red-and-white paper. Popped the cork, rewarded with a soft "phffftt" and release of wisp of smoke. Cork stated this was a 2004 vintage. Noticed on the label that a minimum of 120g of cherries were used per liter brewed.
Poured into a champagne flute, this kriekbier had a clear maroon tone with a spritzy champagne-like head. No lace.
The nose had a note of doughy malt. Cherry aroma wasn't as prominent than their frambozenbier. Also had a sour, musty note. The taste had a definite musky, sour flavor going. Tart, sour cherries and old yeast flavors dominate. Had a bit of a cough syrup taste also. Acerbic finish accentuated by the tartness of the cherries. Light bodied with lots of lively carbonation initially. Slightly cloying once on the tongue.
Overall, a pretty decent example of the style. Lands somewhere between the scathing sour/tartness and acidity of Cantillon's kriek and the syrupy cloyingness of Lindemans.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer emerges from the cork and caged 375ml green bottle a foggy vermilion color with the light tan head creamy in texture and the size average with the resultant lace a velum like curtain to drape the glass. Nose has a pleasant cherry sweetness and is backed by a noticeable sourness, with a hint of musk, crisp and clean, start sweet and the malts pleasant, the top is light to moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is acerbic with a wild cherry tartness, quite dry and lingering aftertaste a good drinking brew tis true.

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Photo of paterlodie
2.8/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best before 2014. Poors in with an unstable head with bubbles and is gone in a second. Deep bordeaux red color however more to the purple. Nose is sweet cherries with litle sourness, no malt to discover and a too clean stable; if there is one. Taste is sweet, sweet, cheries and litle sourness and bublegum there too as well. The cleanest but one of the dullest krieks I've ever tasted. Not my style and rather drink beer like Ranke Kriek or 3 Fonteinen then this (must be sweetened and pasteurised) Liefmans.

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Photo of oelergud
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle wrapped in red paper.
Dark cloudy maple syrup colored body. Slightly pink rocky head with good lace and retention.
Sweet cherry scent with a hint of spice.
Fresh and crisp cherry flavor up front that rounds off quickly and carries some banana flavors with it. Some faint hops very briefly make themselves known. Dry/tart finish and a long lasting sweet/sour/bitter aftertaste. Very pleasant.
Good body, not too thin or full, just right. Leaves some coating.
Medium drinkability, 750ml no problem but I wouldn't have another bottle for a while.
Overall a good lambic though this is no Lindeman.


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Photo of swamiswamu
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375ml at 33

This one was somewhat of a dissapointment. Poured into a liefmans' chalice it was bright red with a healthy head that didn't disappear. The aroma had some of the normal lambic funk, with hints of grass and crushed cherries. The flavor was simply thin. There was very little of the sourness that makes this style. There was strong hints of grass and of course cherry. One was enough.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a dark brown with a reddish tint to it,matching it perfectly with the pinkish head.

Smell: The smell is of strong cherries with subtle oak hints.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Once you get past the incredible tartness, you find a beer thats wonderfully balanced between sour and sweet. The cherries add a great kick, helping both the sweetness and the tartness as well. It's well balanced, and not too overpowering. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: Another good lambic. I'm just venturing into the world of lambics and I love them. This one is beautifully balanced yet complex enough to satisfy my expectations for a beer. Even though this is very tart, it's not over the top, so it remains quite drinkable. A pretty damn good beer for sure.

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Photo of Paddez
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

37,5cl bottle with red paper wrapped around it. Nice presenatation

Pours a reddish brown -amber almost- coloured brew with a medium sized, pink head
The nose is full of sour cherries. Tartness and hints of cork and wood give this one a very athentic and attractive aroma.
The taste is smooth and straightforward yet heavenly complex & unique, notes of malts, yeast and 'earthy' spices. Cherry tartness and sweetness balance out eachother perfectly, but it's definitely the sour aspects that dominate.
Excellent mouthfeel and drinkabillity. The tartness in the brew is perfectly balanced and doesn't get tiring at all. I could drink this all night.

Excellent stuff. Hands down the best Kriek I've had so far.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this to split wtih my bro-in-law. It pours a slight pink brown color, with a light foam over top. The nose is really nice, with a good blast of sour cherry tartness up that really dominate the nose. The flavor is a lot more sweet than the nose would suggest, but there is still a it of sour tart in there. I like it. The feel is right at moderate, with a moderate carbonation, with a bit of syrupy feel to it. Overall, I find this a refreshing and enjoyabe beer. I like the balance of sour and sweet. Overall, a very nice beer. Reminds me of Wisconsin Belgian Red a bit.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. cork and caged bottle, cork dated 2001. Label states there is a minimum of 120 grams of cherries per liter. To put that into perspective, if you were homebrewing a 5 gallon batch, you'd need at least 5 pounds of cherries and a huge vessel to ferment it in. Anyhow, it pours a glowing reddish tea color with a scant light beige head that sticks to the edge of the Liefmans glass. Significant amount of chunky flakes left in suspension. Tart and sour cherry aroma with some pale malts, leather and mildewy canvas creeping through. Sweet and tart cherry taste with a bittersweet finish with a faint hint of birch. Lingering puckeriness and dryness on the palate. A bit sweeter than I remembered, but not a sticky sweet as Lindemans' and not as dry as De Ranke's; somewhere in nearer the middle. Feels like it's going to be sticky on the palate, but the sourness and dryness washes it all away. Pretty nice.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. bottle, caged and corked. Picked this up in KC, MO. Not available here in Wichita. Vintage 2003 according to the cork (I think).

Appearance: This beer poured a brownish red color that dissolved to muddy pink around the edges. The head was fast and lively, fizzing up quickly and disappearing even more quickly. At some point before it reached my hands, this bottle had been on its side for quite awhile. Therefore, the yeast was caked on the side of the bottle and it was impossible to get a perfectly clean pour, especially on the second and final glass.

Smell: At first, just punch-you-in-the-nose sour cherry and slightly acidic. This stuck around, but the concentrating effects of the flute helped to bring out a few other great aromas. Allspice, cinnamon, and vanilla helped to warm up the nose, though it still had a bit of a bite to it. On the second pour with a larger proportion of yeast, the aroma became lightly musty and drier.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, crisp, and dry. Carbonation was present, but it was not as lively as I thought it would be.

Taste: Light wood, dry fruit, and just a hint of spice kicked this one off. Then the sour cherries kicked in and kicked ass. The sourness continued to build all the way through the finish. A few drinks seemed to climb up into my nose and even burned a little. As the tart cherry ran its course, there was still a light spiciness and a solid wood component in the background.

A great kriek. It's a nice change of pace to have a kriek based on a Belgian brown instead of a traditional lambic (though I do miss the Brett).

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Photo of Citadel82
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is much better than the Bellevue Kriek I just drank.

Pours a clear ruby red with a thick pinkish head that leaves nice lacing as the beer is consumed. The haed does not seem to disappear a the beer is consumed.

Smell is earthy malt, some floral notes and sour cherry over all.

Taste is tart and dry cherry, hints of hops some lingering sweetness.

A light bodied brew with loads of carbonation.

Tart, refreshing and very drinkable.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a reddish brown color with a minimal white head. The aroma is of tart cherries with a wet cardboard, barnyard smell. The flavor is very sweet and tart cherries upfront with the barnyard characteristics taking the back seat. Not a bad brew, nice tart cherry flavor and aroma.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A still light red hue; has a port/red wine smell with some cherry notes on the nose. Has a very acidic, sour flavoring; cherry, cranberry, and very sweet. Rather dry in the body; tangy and tarty, sugary as well. Carbonated and pretty flavorful; a once in a while sipper for me.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy, dark brick red with a tidy, compact head of red-tinged beige perched atop the beer. This ain't no sissy lookin' girlie drink, but a lambic that anyone would be proud to be seen holding. The foam is ultimately too soft to leave much lace, but is par for the style.

The nose is full-to-bursting with cherries, of course, but there's an underlying earthy, musky funkiness that's appealing. It isn't a classically pleasant aroma, but one that entices nevertheless (I've given up trying to convey what this really reminds me of, there's just no polite way to put it).

Liefmans Kriekbier is less 'sweet, juicy cherry' than Lindemans Kriek, but is just as good in its own right. This beer has a funkier, more bohemian flavor that permeates the fruitiness. It also has considerably less sugar than the other kriek lambics that I've had. As a result, a significant puckery tartness gathers steam throughout each mouthful and hits with a vengeance on the finish. Light-medium body with ebullient carbonation.

Kriekbier gives those looking for a cherry lambic a clear choice since it's so different from the Melbourn Bros. or Lindemans versions. As noted above, it's less sweet, more funkified, and perhaps even more drinkable. Good stuff.

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Photo of danadeny
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap at Anam Cara, and it was great. The body of Kriek was thick, cloudy, and heavy. The color was a dark brown with highlights of amber. The head of the beer was of nice size. The smell of the Kriek was of faint cherries ripened to perfection. The aroma was of real cherries not of a concentrated candy smell. When the Kriek touched my palate, the initial taste was of balanced brown ale. The taste progressed and blended with very tart cherries, but a good amount of tart. The aftertaste was tart, it was not over-powering---perfection! The finish was smooth; there was not a hop finish. The after taste of Kriek faded quickly. The mouth feel was slightly dry...awesome. I felt that the drink ability was more drinkable than water.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Need I mention the paper? ;-)

Sweet and sour... would be the first thing that comes to my mind when trying to describe what is going on exactly in my mouth while I sip this delicious brew. Bold black cherry taste.

I enjoyed it very much. Had it in a "la fin du monde" glass.

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Kriekbier from Brouwerij Liefmans
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 262 ratings
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