Drie Fonteinen: Beersel Lager (Belgium: Bohemian Pilsner: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Very pale. Lightly coloured and hazy, only a slight yellowing to the body. Manages a large frothy ice cream head however.

Nose: Smooth yet zest. Ground lemon peel. Malt. Ice cream Sunday, or maybe cream soda.  Husked corn. Coriander. Strawberry cream centres.

Body: Wheat and cream soda. Lemon meringue. Strawberry cream. Light bitter back and grapefruit.

Finish: Condensed cream. Orange juice. Some bitter and hoppy elements that move into slow growing bitterness. Pineapple.

Conclusion: This is a seriously nice lager. All sweet cream soda and fruity sweet freshness for the first part, then rides into just enough bitterness to bite.

I did take a while to decide if the cream soda styling could be interpreted as a good thing, as it is very distinct and unusual. After realising my disappointment when the glass was empty I could but conclude that yes, it is a good thing indeed.   Better still, this unusual element is but one element of the beer and it has plenty more to keep your interest.

I’ve noticed a lot of craft brewers try to do a take on the various lager styles and try to make it a bit more interesting, most end up losing that which makes lager work in the first place without adding enough to compensate. This on the other hand plays to the style and adds flavour as well as any I have run across.

Easy to drink, fruity sweet, definitely different and with a nice touch of hops.  If only it was easier to get over here I could happily drink it through all the years’ summer days.

Background: Brewed at the De Proef Brouwerij as Drie Fonteinen is set up more for the lambics.  This beer is one I’ve been keeping an eye out for, but only found finally on a visit to Gent. Bohemian Pilsner is a beer style I only found out existed whilst researching the background of this beer, I hope all beers of this style are this nice.

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