One of the perks of working in a very small brewery is the ability to experiment with a large number of different beers; a few kegs here, a few kegs there and – unless it’s being aged intentionally – nothing is left sitting around unsold. Flat Rock brewer Vince de Soyres makes the most of this by putting out a huge range of beers and trying out styles he’s never brewed before, meaning that almost every time you visit the venue you’re likely to be greeted by a different beer of some kind or another. And, to his credit, there’s very rarely a dud. To be sure, he has a critical view of his work and seldom fails to mention how it might be improved the next time. So when he says he’s brewed a beer style for the first time and wouldn’t change a thing about it, you know it’s probably worth a schooner. And when the staff at the venue say it might be the best beer he’s brewed, you’ll want to upgrade to a pint.
This Belgian pale ale has been modelled on the famous Orval Trappist beer and while nothing is likely to compare with such a unique brew, it does a fine job as something of a less-rehearsed tribute act. Having used a Bastogne Trappist yeast, Brettanomyces and old French hops of the Strisselspalt variety, it’s as close as Vince could conceivably get to guessing the recipe without having to hold a monk hostage. Funky, fruity, dry and invariably interesting, Flat Rock’s Belgian pale may be modelled on a great but isn’t really a beer to be compared, simply enjoyed.
- Belgian Pale Ale
Flat Rock Brew Cafe