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Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
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"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


From the cellar: Het Anker Mechelschen Bruynen

Het Anker Mechelschen Bruynen

Het Anker Mechelschen Bruynen

ABV: 6%
Origin: Mechelen, Antwerpen, Flanders
First published: 22 January 2001

Another review from the  written for the pioneering Oxford Database (OBBD). I’ve left it uncorrected — so please read it in that historical spirit. Sadly this is one of the historic beers since retired by its brewery. I don’t think I was quite accurate in likening it to the East Flemish brown ale style: more likely it was a late 20th century invention ‘inspired’ by earlier brown ales.

The Anchor brewery in Mechelen, former capital of Brabant, is best known for Gouden Carolus/Carolus d’Or, a sweet, strong speciality.  This beer is the brewery’s more everyday brown ale, but it still boasts a respectable gravity and is somewhat special in its own right.  The archaic spelling and grammar of the name indicates an old-style brew, and this bottle-conditioned beer is broadly in the ultra-traditional style of the brown ales of East Flanders typified by Liefmans, rather than their sourer, West Flanders counterparts.

It’s very aromatic, scented with violets, roses and spices, and an invitingly deep ruby brown colour, with a lively condition.  The palate is full and malty, still slightly flowery and with hints of phenol, ending in a tangy finish with plenty of distinct hops that have kindly waited their turn to allow the malt to assert itself.

The beer has something of the candyish quality of its more famous stronger stablemate, and the finish is a beautiful balancing act that just lifts it enough.  A ‘must-have’ for brown ale fans and well worth seeking out for everyone else too.

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