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Beer of the Week: Karl Strauss 24th Anniversary Flanders-Style Ale

Uncle Karl celebrates the big two-four with a celebratory sour

As we age, we start to pay more attention to time…or at least the passage of it. Such is the case with San Diego’s oldest operative brewing company, Karl Strauss. Twenty-four years in, they’ve established an artful, interesting way to celebrate each passing year in the beer biz. Every year, when their anniversary (February 2) arrives, they siphon out beer that’s been aging in barrels for 12 months, then funnel fresh product into a new set of barrels for 12 months of maturation.

Previous barrel-aged anniversary brews from Karl’s crew have included an old ale, vanilla porter, and a Belgian-style strong ale made using zinfandel grapes; quite adventurous for a company that made a name for itself off traditional Germanic offerings. This year’s anniversary beer is perhaps the most exciting yet—a sour red ale with stylistic origins hailing from Belgium’s Flanders region.

Karl Strauss brewmaster Paul Segura’s first commercial foray into sours came in 2010 with the debut of Flan-diddly-anders, an acidic brew named after a reference from the TV show "The Simpsons." In crafting this anniversary beer, Segura brewed a higher alcohol version of Flan-diddly-anders so it would hold up to aging and the flavor derived from the oak vessels. The result is a brew with big notes of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar in the nose, and flavors of skin-on Granny Smith apple, black cherry, vanilla, and lightly-charred oak on the palate.

Other popular interpretations on the Flanders standard include The Lost Abbey’s Red Poppy Ale and Green Flash’s Flanders Drive. Both are of high quality. Uncle Karl’s new limited edition version fits in well with that group and has me looking forward to tasting next year’s quarter-century commemorative, a barrel-aged dopplebock. Look for year 24’s anniversary ale in 22-ounce bombers and at Karl Strauss’ brewery restaurants.

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As we age, we start to pay more attention to time…or at least the passage of it. Such is the case with San Diego’s oldest operative brewing company, Karl Strauss. Twenty-four years in, they’ve established an artful, interesting way to celebrate each passing year in the beer biz. Every year, when their anniversary (February 2) arrives, they siphon out beer that’s been aging in barrels for 12 months, then funnel fresh product into a new set of barrels for 12 months of maturation.

Previous barrel-aged anniversary brews from Karl’s crew have included an old ale, vanilla porter, and a Belgian-style strong ale made using zinfandel grapes; quite adventurous for a company that made a name for itself off traditional Germanic offerings. This year’s anniversary beer is perhaps the most exciting yet—a sour red ale with stylistic origins hailing from Belgium’s Flanders region.

Karl Strauss brewmaster Paul Segura’s first commercial foray into sours came in 2010 with the debut of Flan-diddly-anders, an acidic brew named after a reference from the TV show "The Simpsons." In crafting this anniversary beer, Segura brewed a higher alcohol version of Flan-diddly-anders so it would hold up to aging and the flavor derived from the oak vessels. The result is a brew with big notes of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar in the nose, and flavors of skin-on Granny Smith apple, black cherry, vanilla, and lightly-charred oak on the palate.

Other popular interpretations on the Flanders standard include The Lost Abbey’s Red Poppy Ale and Green Flash’s Flanders Drive. Both are of high quality. Uncle Karl’s new limited edition version fits in well with that group and has me looking forward to tasting next year’s quarter-century commemorative, a barrel-aged dopplebock. Look for year 24’s anniversary ale in 22-ounce bombers and at Karl Strauss’ brewery restaurants.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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