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?
Discontinued long ago, outcompeted by Stella and Jupiler, but not forgotten.
Luckily, once in a while a Belgian ‘lost beer’ is brought back to life. Which is nice, because historic beer is at its best when you can drink it.