North End are based in New Zealand and this, my first taste of their beer, is an Oud Bruin style Flanders Ale with cherries, prunes and a yoghurt culture that is part of their Salt & Wood range.
Most importantly, this is a bloody good beer and a superb take on the style.
It pours the requisite chestnut brown and smells of treacle tart, copper kettles and sweet silage, and as you take a swig you find toffee and popcorn, Belgian waffles and honey from the malts.
They’re round and sticky and delicious and out of their belly pops the meaty round fruitiness of the cherries and the sticky goodness of the prunes.
The yoghurt culture gangs up with the Belgian yeast, adding a creamy tartness to the edges of the woody farmyard fug while the hops slap you up with hedgerow greenery and a twist of lemon.
And then, in the finish, everything turns boozy and warm, sweet fruity jam and brown sugar tinged with a steely bitterness making you reach for another mouthful.
Source: Ales By Mail