The Omer Vander Ghinste brewery first launched their Kriek Max in 2002, and immediately it hit the target. More than ten years on, and this sweet-and-tasty kriek still has a huge fan base.
The ‘Max’ in the name refers to a brewing approach that aims to maximise the taste of sweet krieken (cherries). The beer was launched in response to the demand for a fuller, more pronounced cherry taste by lovers of this style of beer.
It's now the beer of choice for those with a taste for the sweeter side of fruit beers. Kriek Max is brewed on the basis of spontaneous fermentation, and is sometimes called a foederbier, as it is stored in huge wooden barrels, known as foeders.
To this base beer the cherries are added, and lots of them. Their natural juices and aromas provide this kriek with its intense taste – as well as its pleasantly fruity cherry fragrance. And all of that flavour is underpinned by a pronounced – but not overwhelming – sweetness.
It all makes for a fruity thirst-quenching beer, one which enjoys a great popularity in the summer. Thanks, in part, to its relatively low alcohol content, it's become a beer that appeals to a very wide audience.
Mixed fermentation – a spontaneously fermented and bottom-fermented beer.
In common with both geuze and lambiek, the Kriek Max is grounded in the spontaneous fermentation approach. And with its Cuvée des Jacobins and Oude Bruin Vanderghinste beers – among many others – the Bockor brewery has certainly proven its mastery and expertise, when it comes to spontaneous and mixed fermentation.
Brewed with natural ingredients: water, yeast, barley malt, wheat, hops, cherries (25%) and cherry juice.
Colour & Transparency
Clear and dark-red beer, thanks to the use of real krieken. Must be served properly chilled. If poured correctly, a beautiful collar will form.
5-6 °C / 41 ° F– 42 °F
Like all the other Bockor beers, the Kriek Max is served in a proprietary glass designed by the brewery itself. This elegant glass on a thin stem can be purchased during a visit to the brewery, or from specialist beer shops.
Character, Tastes & Aromas
Kriek Max is a predominantly sweet kriek. Your nose will detect the strong presence of fresh-fruity cherry aromas, an aroma that is pleasantly reminiscent of cherry sweets. Thanks to the 25% cherry content, and the addition of cherry juice, you're guaranteed a lovely, and complete krieken taste.
Kriek Max is a star performer when combined in tandem with fruit desserts and dark chocolate. A sabayon prepared with this beer also goes down a treat. The possibilities presented by such a sweet beer offer a refreshing culinary challenge. Beer and food lovers are invited to experiment for themselves, either cooking in the kitchen or pairing with a bold, new dish.
Keeping and Storage
Sweet fruit beers, with low alcohol content, like the Kriek Max, are best consumed as fresh as possible. So although this beer will keep for up to a year, remember this beer wasn't produced to remain in a cellar for years on end.
Bottle ✔ On Tap ✔
The Kriek Max and the OMER are important beers for this brewery. The beer is produced all year round, and is easily available (in 25cl bottles or on tap) from your café, or in bottles from supermarket of choice.
And in common with many other Omer Vander Ghinste beers, you will be able to source it from far outside Belgium.
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