Once I acquired this bottle of American Bitter Pink from the Collective Brewing Venture of Fort Value, Texas as a present a number of months again, I knew the one time I’d be capable to get away with reviewing a beer with such brash, jingoistic imagery was across the American Independence Day vacation on July 4th. The pink, white, and blue label incorporates a glowering Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – the nationwide fowl of america – pulling aside its pink shirt to reveal a closely muscled chest that’s emblazoned with the phrase “MERICA”. I’ve little doubt that such over-the-top, in-your-face patriotism was accomplished humorously with tongue firmly in cheek – however it is a Texas brewery, so that you by no means know. Possibly they had been critical in spite of everything.
Nevertheless, the truth that Collective Brewing Venture selected to adorn a decidedly un-American beer fashion with such exaggerated nationalism leads me to imagine that is all a little bit of a gag. You must look in the back of the label to search out this out, however for all of the overblown Yankee bravado on the entrance of the bottle, the wonderful print on the opposite facet clearly states that it is a beer within the bitter Flanders pink fashion. Even in its homeland within the Dutch-speaking half of Belgium, Flanders pink ale is a little bit of a localized obscurity, greatest exemplified in bottlings by venerable breweries like Rodenbach and Brouwerij Verhaeghe (whose Duchesse de Bourgogne we reviewed in 2019). Tart, refreshing, and nearly wine-like, Flanders pink ale is commonly a revelation to drinkers who’ve by no means had bitter beers earlier than – and I think that is very true down in Texas, the land of cool, crisp lagers like Lone Star Beer and Shiner Bock.
However again to that label. I didn’t get round to reviewing this final week in time for the Fourth of July. However regardless of – arising in just some days on July 11th is Feestdag van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, or the Day of the Flemish Neighborhood of Belgium. This annual celebration of the Flemish individuals and their language and tradition commemorates the Battle of the Golden Spurs, a pivotal Flemish victory within the Franco-Flemish Battle, fought 720 years in the past in 1302. It’s a bit late to uncork a bottle of this Belgian-inspired American Bitter Pink for the Fourth of July, however the Flemish celebration is simply across the nook.
Sadly, Collective Brewing Venture closed for good in 2020 and this beer is discontinued. However you would possibly nonetheless be capable to discover older bottles on the market, and Flanders pink ale is a mode that may mature for a number of years within the bottle because of the addition of so-called “wild” yeast strains like Brettanomyces (which we’ve encountered a number of instances earlier than right here at Birds and Booze). Collective Brewing Venture aged their American Bitter Pink with this wild yeast in Belgian foeders, huge floor-to-ceiling oak barrels historically utilized in brewing such beers. The mixed results of oak getting old and the Brettanomyces yeast give this beer a beautiful vinous complexity, with wealthy notes of balsamic vinegar, vanilla, and raspberry jam. The palate is gentle and brightly tart, with strains of cherry lozenge, oak, pomegranate molasses, and caramel. Some bitter inexperienced apple on the lengthy, dry end brings this refreshing bitter beer to a correct shut. This can be a bitter beer advanced sufficient to heat you in the midst of winter, but additionally gentle and quenching sufficient to be sipped on a heat summer season night. And for the extra adventurous drinker, it will make a superb accompaniment to a pie manufactured from the summer season’s ripest cherries or berries.
Good birding and completely satisfied ingesting, it doesn’t matter what holidays you have a good time this month!
Collective Brewing Venture – American Bitter Pink
4 out of 5 feathers (Wonderful)