PICK YOUR POISON: Alvinne’s The Dog Didn’t Bark

/ 0 Comments / By :

Bands, festivals and the lot are releasing branded booze by the dozens these days. GRIMM makes it its mission to get to the bottom (of the bottle) of this trend with insightful reviews and extra backgrounds. So sit back, PICK YOUR POISON, and discover all you need to know about your favorite band’s alcoholic brands! 

Poison Fact Sheet

  • Poison name: The Dog Didn’t Bark
  • Poison style: beer – dark sour ale
  • ABV: 6%
  • IBU: /
  • Brewery: Alvinne (Belgium) & Bubble Lab (China)
(ABV = Alcohol By Volume; IBU = International Bittering Units)

Usually we feature beers where the band or a festival orders a custom brew or where brewers create a tribute to one of their favorite bands. Today we have a totally different story for you! We introduce you to The Dog Didn’t Bark, a very unique dark sour ale with black smoked plums all the way from China. The beer is collab between the Belgian Alvinne, highly respected for its sours, and Bubble Lab whose brewers Marco Chao and Fily Chen flew over all the way from Changzou, China. If you want to discover what in God’s name this has to do with metal music, keep on reading…


We got to taste The Dog Didn’t Bark during the Alvinne Tap Takeover at Beerlovers Bar (Antwerp). The leaflet in the bar and Untappd described the beer as a ‘dark sour ale, brewed with black smoked plums and macerated with sloeberries fermented with our wild house yeast strain Morpheus’.

Our taster contained a dark, murky amber colored beer with a very small head. In the nose we immediately got some smokiness and berries. Mouthfeel was medium with a slightly oily texture.  In the taste we had the clear flavor of plums and the return of the smoky character. While drinking, it reminded us of fermented black tea with a light tartness in the end. The sloeberries (‘sleedoorn’ in Dutch) were present and gave the beer a certain fruity sweetness, although it was immediately counterbalanced by the typical lactic acidity we know from Alvinne‘s creations. Overall, The Dog Didn’t Bark is a very complex beer with interesting flavor combinations that don’t clash. Exactly the kind of experiment that makes us love Alvinne beers.

Watch the video below where the dried and smoked plums from China are added to the boil.

Adding the black plums just after the boil. It’s a very traditional way to preserve plums by drying and smoking them. Could very well be we are the first brewery ever to use these in beer #daretogowild

Slået op af Brouwerij Alvinne i Torsdag den 10. januar 2019

The Story

So the story of a beer of course starts with the brewing. Check out Alvinne‘s video of January 10th where they introduce Marco Chao of Bubble Lab and the idea behind the brew.

We spent an amazing two days with Marco Chao and Fily Chen from Bubble Lab Brewing, China. Today we made a collab, a 6 ABV dark sour with Black plums, dryed smoked plums. #brouwerijalvinne #daretogowild #bubblelabbrewery #chinacraftbeer #slowbeer #15yearsofalvinne

Slået op af Brouwerij Alvinne i Torsdag den 10. januar 2019

Then we go fast forward to the end of February when we saw this Instagram post appearing on our feed:

View this post on Instagram

A month ago @lengtche.official @tankcrimes and I visited @alvinnebeer and had the best time! Not only do they make fantastic wild beer, they are a great group of people. Also, the name for their recent collab resulted from our hang time “The Dog Didn’t Bark” Fun Times!! Be sure to not miss @alvinnebeer when in Belgium. Worth the trip! #beer #belgianbeer #alvinne #daretogowild #municipalwaste #tankcrimes #lengtche

A post shared by Dave Witte (@stoutmania) on

So apparently when the brew and its fermentation were in its final process Alvinne had a rough batch of metalheads in the house! In those creative moments of tasting and sharing, the people of Alvinne, Leng Tch’e and Municipal Waste came up with a name for the unique collab. Of course we wanted to know the full story.

Jan Hallaert, guitarist of Leng Tch’e, shared how they ended up at Alvinne:

I know Dave Witte of Municipal Waste for about 10 years now. On of my best friends, Frédéric Caure (Serpent CultRise Above Records), is since recently brewer at Alvinne. Dave is a huge fan of the Alvinne beers, I remembered that from previous conversations we had. So I just brought them together when the Persistance Tour played in Deinze.

While there, we learned that when foreign brewers visit Alvinne they are asked to bring a local product to experiment with to create a new crazy brew.

Alvinne shared the unique ingredient that was added to The Dog That Didn’t Bark:

While you’re not supposed to just bring loads of food with you on the plane, the Chinese brewers of Bubble Lab flew over to Belgium with a suitcase full of dried and smoked plums for the beer. They feared the dogs at customs would react at the smell of it, but luckily this didn’t happen. So they were happy the dogs didn’t bark.

Jan Hallaert:

When Glenn of Alvinne told this story it was Dave who suggested this could actually be a cool name for the beer. We had a blast there at Alvinne. They’re super friendly and open guys. And there’s always hard rock playing, so that’s definitely a plus!

Cool story, guys!

Goes Best With…

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *