License to blend

Petrus Sours
One way to annoy a brewer is to mix their beer with another.

Even blending two beers from the same brewery gets you into trouble. While on a sales trip in the US, Albert De Brabandere, Director of the De Brabandere brewery saw a bartender pouring his brewery’s Petrus Aged Pale into a glass half-filled with Petrus Aged Red.

“I was furious and confronted him.”

It’s worth pointing out that Albert is particularly sensitive about Aged Pale. He calls it the brewery’s mother beer: aged for 24-36 months in oak foeders, it has a tartness reminiscent of dry cider and for years the brewery thought it was too good to even sell. They preferred to use it exclusively as a base for its more comforting and accessible cousin: Petrus Oud Bruin. In fact Michael Jackson had to plead with Albert’s father to put Aged Pale on the market.

And now that it’s on the market, a bartender, who frankly should know better, is putting his own spin on it.

Did he survive?

“Actually he stayed pretty calm and asked me to take a sip.”

Low and behold Albert loved it.

“Aged Pale is our sourest beer, while Aged Red is sweeter,” he says. “So one part Aged Pale and two parts Aged Red gives you quite a balanced and delicious blend. I knew I needed to let our customers experience it.”

This explains the new Petrus “Sour Power” blending pack. It has three bottles of Aged Pale, one bottle of Aged Red, one bottle of Petrus Oud Bruin, and one bottle of Petrus 50/50 (a blend of 50 percent Aged Pale and 50 percent Aged Red), along with some blending instructions.

As De Brabandere’s US importer says, “it’s about the fun of sours and discovering how these beers can be blended to find your own beer perfection.”

So do try this at home: fill the glass almost to the top with Aged Pale and add a dash of Aged Red. You get all the sourness of the Aged Pale; but now it’s infused with cherry notes, which actually bring out the Aged Pale’s fruitiness.

Better yet, ignore my suggestion and find the blend that’s right for you.