Black and Sour

by Jim Lundstrom

My palate braced itself for its first taste of Zwet.be, a Belgian porter brewed with wild yeast.

Oh! Wow! This beer is almost too good to be true. Almost.  

Just an absolute explosion of flavors in all directions…  

I have no idea what Zwet.be means. Well, I know .be is Belgium’s web moniker, but Zwet? No idea. No help on the bottle either. I’ll check it out on the web in a sec, but first, another taste.  

Oh, yeah!  

Chocolate, deep, deep chocolate immediately, followed by café au lait, cut with a bright, happy, fruity sharpness. Not a hoppy citrus fruitiness, but more like berry or tart cherry. And at the very end, a subtle spice blend that includes black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg as a subtle ending.  

In short, that’s just a heavenly flavor.  

The bottle does tell us that this was brewed and bottled for Brouwerij Drie Fonteinenn by the famous De Proef Brouwerij of Lochristi, Belgium.  

The brewmaster of Drie Fonteinenn Brewery used wild yeast cultured from casks of his lambic to infect his Belgian Porter.  

I went to the brewery website, https://3fonteinen.be/en/, and learned, “new website coming in 2017.” So I Googled Zwet. It means black in Dutch.  

So, that’s about all I can tell you about this beer. But I will close on this note: If you like the contrasts of dark and tart, find this Belgian import now before I hit the lottery and buy up every bottle ever made.

 And congratulations to Bent Paddle for its 14º ESB winning a gold medal in the Extra Special Bitter category at the Great American Beer Festival held in Denver Oct. 5-7.