Some years ago, I received a strong recommendation to try a kriek – “it is unlike any beer you will have ever tasted“. And boy, were they correct.

Kriek is a sour-cherry flavoured beer, brewed in a special manner called lambic. A typical mix of wheat, hops, water and malt is exposed to wild yeasts and bacteria (sounds almost medicinal), fermented rapidly, with sour cherries added after the fermentation.

Opening the bottle results in a truly pungent wet earth odour (more odour than aroma!), pouring as a deep red drink where the head disappears almost immediately (more like champagne than beer). The taste is not beer-like at all – a tart, dry flavour with a slight touch of bubbles and a biting sourness somewhere between cranberry and lemon juice, but closer to lemon. The mouth tends to shrivel at the reminder of the taste and even has a similarity to cider.

For me, I could never manage more than one but it was a surprisingly enjoyable and palate cleansing. It is an appreciated taste among proud Belgian beer drinkers. The brewing technique is treasured and limited to a tiny pocket of Belgium. My description is probably unjust but it is a unique taste experience and worth seeking out as a drink around the world should you wander through .
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At the start of every month, Travel Wonders highlights a characteristic drink experienced on his travel. Only two previous beers have featured in this series: the Belgian classic monastery beer, Chimay and the most northern beer in the world (Mack Pilsner).

Photo Credit: kriek

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4 Responses to Drinks Around the World: Kriek – Sour Cherry Beer (Belgium)

  • nadine says:

    When I was in Belgium I tryed the cherry beer and I loved it and never forgot the flavor. So when I returned back to Canada I started seeking places that might see it,…. well I found it and I buy a bottle about once a month just for the memories I think lol . its a bit pricey(approx.3.75) a bottle but well worth trying ………

  • Sofie says:

    Aah, my country, beer country:-)
    I’m actually not a beer drinker (I know, I know), but I think Kriek is about the only beer I do like.
    I prefer the Kriek Extra, though, which has a sweeter taste.

    • Mark H says:

      I never got to try kriek extra – I wonder if I can find that in Australia. Some told me when in Belgium that there was a brewery for each day of the year – around 365 of them!! No idea if it true or not…

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Welcome to Travel Wonders
My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.
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