Bellevue Extra Kriek
Great with Cherry Cake


Like most people I have my rules; for example, I try (!) not to drink beer before there is a twelve in the time (i.e. 29 minutes to twelve). Another one is much easier to hold: no beer with cake.

In the lounge at Brussels airport I managed to break both in one go.

The cherry cake was the culprit; it looked so good and I didn’t fancy anymore coffee. What should I drink? There was the normal assortment of cola, mineral water and juices in the refrigerator. I was about to take a sparkling water and thereby adhere to my rules when I spotted the small bottles of Bellevue Kriek extra.
Kriek is lambic beer flavoured with cherries; could be a perfect match, I thought. It poured a nice ruby red colour with a slightly pink white head that fell fairly quickly. Aroma of sweet cherry.

I expected a nice balance of sweetness from the cherries and sourness from the lambic; sadly the latter was very supressed. A good match with the cake and its sour cherries but alone it was a bit like alcoholic (4,3% alc. Vol. ) cherryade.

The thing that puzzled me was the ‘extra’ . Normally one would expect in a beer more alcohol; the reverse here. ‘Normal’ Belle-vue Kriek has 5,2% Alc. Vol. The extra refers to more cherries macerated in the lambic. As for the lambic in ‘extra’ it’s a blend of young lambics which probably accounts for the limited sourness.

The Bellevue brewery was founded in 1913; today it belongs to AB Inbev and is the world’s biggest producer of Lambic beers. Not surprising, therefore, to find it here at the airport lounge which is firmly in the hands of Inbev: Leffe blonde and brune on draught and bottled Stella Artois.

In future I think I’ll drink coffee with cherry cake, should they have it, or I’ll try to keep my visits to a time when I can drink Leffe, preferably the brown version.

Happy beer drinking!