Podcast Episode 365: Alex Lippens and the Team at Verzet Are on a Quest to Make the Best Oud Bruin in the World

Brouwerij ’t Verzet infuses brash rock ‘n’ roll attitude and a penchant for experimentation into their studied, methodical approach to developing their own takes on traditional Flemish beers.

Jamie Bogner Jun 21, 2024 - 6 min read

Podcast Episode 365: Alex Lippens and the Team at Verzet Are on a Quest to Make the Best Oud Bruin in the World Primary Image

Photo: Joe Stange

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In Anzegem, Belgium, about 20 miles southwest of Ghent, Brouwerij ’t Verzet is no cover band. Sure, they could make some local waves by brewing up Citra-Mosaic hazy IPAs, but what would that mean to the strong brewing traditions in their corner of Flanders? Rather than play someone else’s tunes, could they instead take the familiar, culturally significant notes that everyone around them knows, and play them with a swagger and attitude that helps people see them in a new light?

Or, as cofounder Alex Lippens muses, could they drink these innovative hazy IPAs from the United States, learn from them, and inject that knowledge back into classic Belgian styles, to help move those traditions forward? Couldn’t they develop their own take on a classic Flemish style such as oud bruin—but instead of making it taste like Rodenbach, make it feel cool and relevant for a younger generation of drinkers?

These are among the questions that Lippens asks throughout this episode. While the answers are still in progress—check back with the Verzet team in 40 years, maybe, when their brewing careers are complete—he also touches on:

  • pushing the borders of drinkability and excitement
  • rethinking Michael Jackson’s categorization of oud bruin and Flemish red ale
  • brewing with a heavy caramel-malt load and 20 percent unmalted barley
  • using techniques such as cereal mashes and extremely long boils to build flavor and texture
  • blending parts of seven different barrel-aged base beers into Verzet Oud Bruin
  • maintaining and using a wild-caught mixed culture
  • promoting quicker Lactobacillus action by restricting hops and pitching on fully fermented wort
  • building an impression of fruit flavor without using actual fruit
  • blending to a total acidity goal

And more.

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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].