Ichtegem’s grand cru is a Flemish red ale. This unique style of beer is brewed as two separate beers, that are blended together to form the final product. Similar to the lambic geuze, one beer is brewed to be aged in oak barrels. This beer is aged for two years, where exposure to oxygen, the wood of the barrels, and naturally occuring microflora alter it’s flavor, making it dry and sharp with an acidic tang. The second half of the equation is a sweet young beer, brewed before blending, that the brewer uses to balance the beer to his specifications. The Ichtegems grand cru is nutty, malty, and has a subtle dark cherry tang to it that balances it beautifully.
In the heart of Western Flanders, not far away from the busy traffic route Roeselare-Ostend, is situated the peaceful town of Ichtegem. It's a place that never plaid a significant role in Belgian history, but that was occasionally in the news because of the presence of 3 breweries on its territory.
Nowadays only one brewery is still operational. Situated in the shadow of the 17th century St-Michel’s Church, the traditional Strubbe Brewery, the Virgin of Ghent - as she used to be called, is as old as our country.
2006 will be the year of a new beer: Ichtegems Grand Cru.