Bourgogne des Flandres is a Belgian beer brewed by Timmermans Brewery in Itterbeek in the municipality of Dilbeek which is located in Flemish Brabant.
Bourgogne des Flandres is a ‘cut’ or blended beer, a category that is typical of Western Flanders and the Oudenaarde region.
This beer is characterised by the use of traditional lambic from the Zenne Valley near Brussels.
Bourgogne des Flandres is a blend of a dark, top-fermented beer and a lambic.
It could be described as an odd one out: brown, with an alcohol strength of just 5%, it is a mix of sweet and sour flavours and less pronouncedly acidic than some other Flemish red-brown beers.
The effect of the use of traditional lambic in this beer is quite remarkable. Bourgogne des Flandres contains a minimum of 30% wheat and aged hops (from the lambic, made at Timmermans) ensuring that bitter hop flavours never come to the fore.
Beers like this are created by spontaneous fermentation. The brewer does not add yeast and gives Mother Nature free rein.
When brewing is done the wort cools down in a large open cooling basin, or koelschip.
The wild yeasts (“Bretts” of the Brettanomyces family) in the air ‘infect’ the wort and encourage it to ferment spontaneously.
The fermentation process of lambic beers continues in oak foeders, a process that can take between two and three years.