Last weekend my parents and brother were down for the Skyride – as good a reason as any to try the bottle of Brouwerij Strubbe’s Leireken Wilde Vruchten that’s been lurking at the back of our fridge for months. I picked it up on our last visit to Paris, when Strubbe’s brewer was giving tastings at Cave á Bulles. His intent, he said, was to create a ‘fruit beer which appeals to those that don’t like fruit beer’. Well, that’s me alright. At the time the brewer looked a bit puzzled when I said it was ‘peppery’ but some tastings on Ratebeer seem to back me up.
Half a year in storage seems to have changed the flavours markedly – after a sweet, clean nose there were distinct hits of bubblegum, strawberry, cherry and sherbert. Somebody said “moon dust“, the popping candy which was once rumoured to give you brain damage. Another gulp brought herbs and even a bit of beetroot and asparagus, all terminating in a slightly sour finish with a backdrop of that original, but fainter, peppery-ness. Odd stuff this – Belgian eccentricity which brought to mind Mary Poppins’ magic sweets with a different taste in every suck.
Would I have it again? Probably. But not for a while, eh?