Beer Tasting: Scheldebrouwerij Hop Ruiter
Drink if you like: spicy grilled beef, funky barnyard flavors, earthy hops, amazing beers
This is one beer that will really speak to Arkansas’ hardcore beer geeks. When most people hear taste descriptors like horse blanket, musky hay and tart funk, they scream “don’t drink that!” But I’m here to tell you – do not be afraid! These beers are some of the most delicious flavor packed beers on earth. These are the beers that humans have been drinking for hundreds of years. These are the beers that European peasants, especially Belgians, drank to sustain themselves. Let’s not forget it took a while for civilization to figure out that boiling water killed all those pesky microorganism and made it safe to drink. While this knowledge was still a mystery, people did notice that beer was safer to drink than water (guess why – you boil malted barley and water to make beer!) In some places, beer was literally healthier than water – and it was always a safe bet that it would never make you sick. These rustics flavors are world unto themselves. If you are new to this beer scene – tread carefully. Just as a standard 18 year old steals a bottle of Dad’s Chateau Rothschild Bordeaux, shows his buddies, and each one spits the wine out in horror – “why would anyone drink this?!” – this beer could be the same way. It takes a required palate to appreciate the earthy funkiness of Saisons, Belgian pale ales, Belgian strong ales, and so much more. Funk is a good thing! Perhaps James Brown was a huge Belgian beer fan? Normally you would have to travel to Belgium or Philadelphia or Washington D.C. to get these types of great beers, but now thanks to the wonderful folks at Glidewell Distributing, we have access to true world class craft beer in Arkansas.
I can’t wait any longer– let’s taste:
When you pour this beer you get the standard wonderfully large Belgian head. You get hints of candy sugar, sweet clove, noble hops and zingy spiciness. This is a Belgian beer for sure. It appears a hazy pale straw color; nothing looks really special about this golden nectar. (but just you wait!) Taking a sip now – what a wonderful complexity with a twist of hops at the end that spins this into another paradigm. It’s a golden Belgian pale ale – think Duvel. You taste that doughy Belgian yeast and fruity malt. Yet it has a decent amount of hops and funk. It’s complex; earthy hops dancing with tasty funk and fruit esters. The funk is reminds you a bit of musty hay and the more vivacious horse blanket. Is there too much hops? Heck no. (disclaimer: hop head typing) Is it too sweet? No. Does this beer give you an amazing show of hops, spice, fruit and funk? Damn straight is does – and it makes me want to play James Brown’s “I feel good” and dance all around.
You can find this wonderful beer at the following high quality establishments:
Colonial Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Springhill Wine & Spirits – North Little Rock
Crush Wine Bar – North Little Rock
The Bottle – Fayetteville
County Line Liquor – Springdale
Macadoodles – Springdale
Scheldebrouwerij Hop Ruiter – 6.5% ABV – MSRP $7.86 for a 25.4oz bottle
We gave this beer 4.5 Diamonds