Belgian Beers at
The John Bull

Red Ales


ABV 5.0% | Volume 25cl | Price £2.15

Famous sour red beer from West Flanders which is mashed and fermented conventionally, but is then aged in tall oak vats. One of the world’s most distinguished ales.


Rodenbach Gran Cru

ABV 6.0% | Volume 33cl | Price £3.70

This is an aged Belgian red ale, which is 'ripened quietly in oak barrels for two years', according to the label.

It has an extremely pungent aroma of rich grapey fruit, with acidic notes, very much like a slightly sour red wine or possibly a gueuze. (Apparently their original advertising slogan was 'It's wine!') In the mouth it is slightly sweet, extremely acidic and fruity, with grapes and even cherries discernible, and very lively.

Despite the sweetness it is not at all cloying, even thin, with little or no trace of malt. Finish is sharp and fruity.

This is a very polarising beer; like it or loathe it ... and don't even think about drinking more than one at a sitting - it is far too sour and strong. In all, a complex, highly unusual beer, which should be savoured.

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