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

BA SCORE
86
very good
2,947 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium
vansteenberge.com

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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.

Added by nomad on 06-19-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,947
Reviews:
1,143
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.28%
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
451
For Trade:
5
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,947 |  Reviews: 1,143
Photo of Mild_Bill
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of zimm421
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of hippogasmo
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite possibly the best beer I've ever had, with two main competitors for my number one rank; surprise, they're also sours. I really only have two complaints about this beer.

1: It is somewhat inconsistent out of a bottle, and I've never found a bar with this beer on tap. In terms of quality and taste, it has never let me down. Unfortunately, a few bottles seem to be pulled from the bottom of the batch, and have chunks (yes, full size chunks!) of some yeast-like substance that I cannot identify, and these chunks cause a real problem in the flavor. I have had the occasional bottle where the alcohol flavor has completely overwhelmed anything else, which I don't necessarily mind, but is not what I look forward to when I pour this into a glass.

2: I learned very, very quickly (early on in my drinking career, that is) that this is not a beer that can be enjoyed straight from the bottle. Few enough are the brews that taste the same or close enough from the bottle that I cannot fault this particular brew on this shortcoming, but it is sometimes a slight disappointment that I have to clean a glass to drink one particular beer.

All-in-all, a very good brew. It's a drink that I like to scare my friends with. "What would you think if I told you that you can drink sour beer? Not a fan? Okay, well here, try this." I have never heard a single response that did not involve some form of "holy crap this is delicious." A beer with a 100% success rate for non-drinkers? Worth a try, if you ask me.

 1,506 characters

Photo of Flaherbear
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of nearengine
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of charrel
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of JCicero08
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of tykechandler
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of cbuckl14
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of patre_tim
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a rusty reddish tinge, cloudy and opaque so I can’t see any carbonation, 2 fingers of cappuccino beige head with a shiny look of sugar bubbling and caramelizing in a pan, nice ring of lacing.

S: Sour in a slight malt vinegar way, fruity, complex fruit of apples and pears, nectarines and plums, prunes as well. A coke like quality.

T: Prunes and plums, light sweetness, light sourness, malt as in a dark malt rye bread sort of way. An acidic and lightly bitter finish. Some toffee notes. Fruity and floral notes.

M: Medium light body with a juice like weight, medium high slightly foamy carbonation. Relatively dry.

O: Makes me feel like I’m in some middle age village in in Belgium, drinking from a mug of fresh local brew as some dim lit pub. Delicious, fresh and complex. Bought and drank in Asheville, NC June 17, 2014. Great brew, in a style that is fast becoming my favourite. Gets more sour with sipping.

 938 characters

Photo of DHS1029
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of modidia
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of thedeathhippie
2.25/5  rDev -41.4%

Photo of wrightst
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smaller format bottle poured into tulip glass

A- Deep maroon/brown with sediment
S- Tart cherry, vinegar
T- Sweet and smooth, but kind of watery on the front. Cherries. I'm not really getting sour.
M- Smooth and watery
O- Not a bad drinking beer, but kind of average. I would like a sharper sourness. I'll set another one aside and see if the lacto sours some more.

 366 characters

Photo of Jasoncolliver
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of chrishiker1409
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of Mini4x
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kingjohnh
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jborg
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of allenson21
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of KeyWestGator
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of slackattack
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into red wine glass

A- first thought was dirty river water. Started off with about half a finger of tight foam, dissipated pretty quickly, lacing was not really present

S- red wine vinegar, sour cherries in your face. Bright and acidic and pretty awesome.

T- started off following the nose, then got away from the sourness a little. Fell off toward the end for me and got a little sweet, maybe it's supposed to, but I would prefer a little more persistent bit.

M- medium to medium-full bodied. There's a definitively detectable amount of malt that I feel like is responsible for the body, not great, not terrible either.

O- like I said, if the label says sour I want and expect sour all the way. The sweetness that came through about 2 seconds into every sip was unwelcome. Didn't hate it, won't buy again though.

 837 characters

Photo of Soterios
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of wvbrewcrew
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.84 out of 5 based on 2,947 ratings.
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