You Say Flemish, I Flanders...

Folks, the arrival of Dissident creates a great opportunity to discuss the sour ales of Flanders, those not-really-brown oud bruins and the not-totally-red sour reds. In comments to the thread below, Anónimo raises some interesting questions and points out the growing number of American breweries tinkering with these old styles: Walking Man, Cascade, Russian River (not to mention Double Mountain and New Belgium). So, I will have reviews of the Dissident along with Liefmans, which is the classic of the style, as well as a general primer on what distinguishes these beers.

But briefly, per Jackson:
  • Flanders Brown (Liefmans) - "The classic style, with an interplay of caramel-like malty sweetness and a sourness gained in several months of maturation (usually in metal tanks), is sometimes identified as Oud Bruin. The most complex examples have a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The most famous producing town is Oudenaarde (also known for Gothic architecture and Gobelin tapestries), not far from Ghent, in East Flanders. Oudenaarde's water, low in calcium and high in sodium carbonate, gives a particularly textured character to the beers."
  • Flemish Red (Rodenbach) - "They are more sharply acidic, leaner, more reddish, half-brothers to the Brown Beers of East Flanders, with the additional difference that they are often filtered and pasteurised. Their sharpness makes them perhaps the most quenching beers in the world, and their acidity renders them very food-friendly. The sharp acidity, and some of the colour, derives from aging in large, fixed, wooden tuns."
In the mean time, don't miss the chance to try Dissident--on tap or bottled--for I fear the chance is fleeting.