Beer sellers: De Bierkoning
Origin: ’s-Gravenpolder, Zeeland, Netherlands (now at Meer, Antwerpen, Vlaanderen)
Scheldebrouwerij is that rare thing, a microbrewery that moved countries. Founded by home brewers Kees van Loenhout and Peter van der Eijnden in 1994, it was originally in Zeeuwse-Vlaanderen, a detached southern exclave of the Dutch province of Zeeland with Belgium to the south and the Schelde estuary to the north, thus the name. Establishing a good reputation for inventive and consistent beers, it was in need of more space by 2008, and the most convenient option turned out to be over the border at Meer in Belgium, in the former premises of the old established but now defunct Sterkens brewery. The fact that the bottles could now carry the legend ‘Belgisch bier’ was another bonus given the cachet of Belgian brewing in the Dutch market.
My notes on Schoenlappertje are based on a Dutch-brewed version from before the move. It’s brewed with blackcurrant juice and natural blackcurrant flavour, pale and caramalts, candy sugar and hops. The blackcurrants are sourced from Zuid-Beveland on the north bank of the Schelde, where 75% of Dutch production of the fruit originates, and where the old dialect term for these tart little gems is ‘schoenlappertje’ – ‘little cobbler’.
The blackcurrants have given this bottle conditioned beer a ruby red colour with a lowish white head and a Ribena-tinged candied aroma with a light malty note. The palate is rounded with sweetish toffee malt well balanced with blackcurrant tartness and a well-judged note of hops. On the swallow the blackcurrant flavours are reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon wine, and there’s a long finish with a splash of herby hops and minty toffee. Boasting a genuine local connection to the brewery’s origin, this is a contemporary fruit beer worth trying.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/scheldebrouwerij-t-schoenlappertje/6936/1/2/