Drijdraad was ‘the best variety of Mechelen brown beer.’ And in the Land of Waas it means: strong beer, also bland coffee.’ Okay, tell me more?
A 1852 Belgian law that ‘was the kiss of death for hundreds of small breweries’? That calls for an investigation. Let’s check some facts!
On the Cimétière de Passy in Paris lies Georges Lacambre: the man who, with his 1851 book, taught Belgium how to brew. But who was he?
After a somewhat uncertain start, the old brown beer of Flanders had acquired some fame by the end of the 19th century. Beer from Oudenaarde was well-known, and Rodenbach was expanding too.
A deadly accident in Geraardsbergen in 1877 is one of the earliest solid pieces of evidence for the existence of the beer that I was looking for: Flemish old brown.
Nowhere in traditional literature on Belgian beer is there even the slightest mention of a ‘red’ beer. So where does ‘Flanders red’ come from?
‘Do you know this beer style?’ Marco Lauret, brewer at Duits & Lauret, asked me. So what exactly was this Berliner Oud?