Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Belgian Beer no.68: Blanche du Hainaut

Moving on to quite a different approach to Belgian Beer: the bio beer. Here an example of the Blanche du Hainaut which means the White from Hainaut. This bio beer is brewed by the Brasserie Dupont, which specializes in bio beers.
Producing beer since 1920, the Brasserie Dupont started off with honey beer (a personal favorite of mine). Then it extended its production to many other beers, amongst which the Blanche du Hainaut. A very refreshing white beer, at 5.5% it offered the right amount of joy.
Other Belgian Beers brewed by the Duponts are the Moinette Blonde 8.5%, the Moinette Brune 8.5%, the Biere de Beloeil 8.5%, the Avec les Bons Voeux (I am guessing this one is a Christmas beer) 9.5% and the Saison Dupont 6.5%. Ii the bio beer cathegory, the Duponts are brewing Moinette bio 7.5%, the Saison Dupont bio 5.5%, the Biere de Miel bio 8%, the aforementioned Blanche du Hainaut which I just tried out, and the Biolegere at 3.5% indeed a very 'leger' light beer.
Oh and just to complete the circle of Belgian traditions, the Brasserie Dupont also produces cheese with Moinette. Must be a fantastic place to visit.

Belgian Beer no.67: Triverius

Keeping up with all the Belgian Beer available is not as easy as I thought. Yet we are trying our best, and I have engaged friends and more friends in my quest of testing all the Belgian Beers out there. Then again, the Belgians are producing new beers at an incredible rate so difficult to keep up ...

Another Belgian Beer tried out was the Triverius. Again a white beer, quite light at 6.8% - I am purely saying this in Belgian Beer terms - Triverius is a refreshing starter beer. Brewed by the De Graal Brewery is it a Belgian Beer with hints of coriander and oranges. So very much a summer beer.
Other Belgian Beers brewed by De Graal (the story never ends!) are De Graal Gember 8%, De Graal Blond 6.5%, De Graal Dubbel 6.5%, De Graal Trippel 9% and De Graal Speciale 8%.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Belgian Beer no.66: Troublette, the troubled one

Troublette, is one fine white beer. Brewed by the Brasserie Caracole (no website yet) this beer is a very nice, light 5%, white beer. We tried this and then some more beers at the before-mentioned Bier Circus in Brussels.
To my understanding, Caracole means snail in the local dialect of the region of Dinant. The brewery also produces the Saxo 8%, the Caracole 8% and the Nostradamus 9.5%.
The Troublette is a citrusy beer, a little bitter, but just perfect for a summer evening.

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Beer Bar in Brussels - Bier Circus

Another beer bar in Brussels. This time around the Bier Circus. Sorry for the dark quality of the picture, but to give you an idea of the name Bier Circus, here is the reason why.
Otherwise a good beer bar, the Bier Circus has a constant support group and the choice of beer served is not bad either :)
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Belgian Beer no.65: Watou's

Again one beer belonging to a group of six ... I tried one of the 'siblings' when trying out Belgian Beer no. 40.
This one now, a nice and refreshing white beer. Light enough to take you through a summer evening.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Belgian Beer no.64: Ezel or ... Donkey

Now how funky is this beer? Called Ezel = Donkey, yet another white beer. But who can resist such a name, Ezel, for a Belgian Beer? Loved it.

This beer is brewed by the Bavik Brewery, which was established 1894. Still an independent brewery, the Bavik Brewery brewes quite a lot of beer ... more about that later.

The Ezel beer, a white beer at 5.8%, the beer has a very full bodied taste (I know this refers more to wines than beers...).
Besdies the Ezel, the Bavik Brewery also produces the Bavik Premium Pils (5.2%), the Big Bavik (5%), the Wittekerke (5%), the Wittekerke Speciale (5.8%), the Wittekerke Rosé (4.3%), the Ezel Brown (6.5%) ... do you really want me to go on? ... the Petrus Old Dark (5.5%), the Petrus Speciale (5.5%), the Petrus Golden Triple (7.5%), the Petrus Double Borwn (6.5%), the Petrus Blond Ale (6.6%), the Petrus Winterbeer (0% - now who would have thought that is possible amongst the Belgian Beers?), the Petrus Aged Pale (7.3%), the Pilaarbijter Blond (7.2%), the Pilaarbijter Dark (but of course! at 6.5%) ... and oh, oh, oh I am done! Let me count: that makes no more no less than 14 different other beers.

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Belgian Beer no.63: Blanche des Honnelles

On a quest to try different whites, here another one the Blanche des Honnelles. This beer is brewed since 1979 by the Brewery at the Abbaye des Rocs.

The beer is a double white beer at 6%. I found it quite nice, yet a little heavy for a white beer. But the Blanche des Honnelles is a good summer drink.

Then of course the Abbaye des Rocs had to produce two other beers I never heard of as an extra bonus: the Abbaye des Rocs (9%) and the Montagnarde (9%).

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Belgian Beer no.62: Steendonk

Launched in 1989, Steendonk is brewed by Duvel like Beer no.6 and Beer no. 28 before. A very refreshing white beer, Steendonk is incredebly light on the Belgian Beer market with only 4.8%. With a slight taste of hops, a very nice beer. Personally I prefer my white Belgian Beer with a slice of lemon ...

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Beer Bar in Brussels - Cafe Belga

In the series of great Belgian Beer bars in Brussels, let me introduce you my local: Cafe Belga. It's a great place celebrating soon it's 4th birthday, with a decent Belgian beer list ... but you just can't beat the atmosphere and a glass of blanche in the sun.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Belgian Beer no.61: Deus, or Champagne?

Fancy beer you’ll say. In the UK a bottle goes for as much as 32GBP. Why you’ll ask? Well … that’s where I am confused as well. But, then again, it’s fancy beer.
I’m talking about Deus, the new, bubbly beer by the Brewery Bosteels. The beer has almost double the alcohol concentration of a normal beer, at 11.5%. After being brewed in Belgium, the beer is taken to France, to the Champagne region for re-fermentation where it gets its bubbles.
Then there is the bottle. Just looking at it you’ll think luck struck and you are holding a bottle of Dom Perignon. Alas, the package is deceiving and you still have a beer … in a fancy bottle.
The beer is creamy, bubbly, fruity and with hints of malt, but it’s no Champagne!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Belgian Beer no.60: Brugse Zot, the lunatic

Now this is a beer that goes way back to 1564. In the hands of Henri I, Henri II , Henri III and Henri IV, De Halve Maan Brewery (in translation the Half Moon) made it to the 50's.

Then in 2002 it seems the last beer brewed in Brugge was saying good bye to the city, the Straffe Hendrik. Yet in 2005, the Halve Maan Brewery restarted producing beer and is today the only one producing beer in Brugge. So the Brugse Zot (the Brugge Lunatic) is the only real Brugge beer left! There is only one more, the Brugse Zot double.

The beer is very pleasant, and at 6% a very refreshing and pleasant white beer.

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Belgian Beer no.59: de kavijaks

Another beer we tried, de kavijaks. I am sure there is a story behind this beer (and the picture), yet no idea what it is.

The beer is produced by De Dolle Brouwers, which I mentioned before with the Beer no. 32, Beer no. 33 and Beer no. 52. A pale ale, I liked it but after the Rulles ... difficult to judge!

Belgian Beer no.58: La Rulles (my new favorite!)

Whilst down town, in one of our favorite bars, Delirium, we tried their 'new' beer. The La Rulles. And I absolutely love it. If it wouldn't be for the sake of research and this blog I would probably stick to this beer for a long time ...

A very young brewery, the artisanal Brewery of Rulles was set up in 2000. They just celebrated their 6th anniversay last weekend (I totally missed the invitation to visit the brewery!). They produce 4 beers (of course they do!), but so far I have only tired the Blonde 7%. The beer tastes very much like German yeasty beers, with a hint of biscuits. How can I not love it? :)

The other beers produced are the Rulles Brune 6.5%, the Triple 8.3%, and the Maxi Blonde (that's the one I am buying next).

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Belgian Beer no.57: La Loupecoise

This is by far the worst beer I ever had !!! A combination of mint and fruit and alcohol and ... beer. A very unfortunate cocktail.

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Belgian Beer no.56: St. Feuillien

Again, a Belgian beer with tradition. The Brasserie St. Feuillien was founded in 1873, and has been brewing beer ever since. At the beginning one Belgian beer in particular, the Grisette. Then the brewery extended its activities to other Belgian beers as well, in particular the St. Feuillien – the one I tried out (the Blonde version). I found the beer to be quite bitter, with hints of citrus, yet a robust and balanced blonde beer.

As you probably got used to by now, every Belgian beer I taste and discover brings with it another set of Belgian beers. St. Feuillien is no different. There is the Blonde (7.5%), the Brune (7.5%), the Triple (8.5%), and the Christmas version (9%).

Besides the St. Feuillien, the brewery also produces the Grisette range of quite light beers (talking in Belgian beer terms): the Blonde (4.5%), the Blanche (meaning white beer, 5%), the Amber (5%) and the Fruits des Bois (meaning wild berries, 3.5%). Once I will get to try any of them I’ll let you know. Cheers!

Farm chicken with St. Feuillien (serves 4)

1 chicken of 1 ½ kg
2 bottles of St. Feuillien Blonde
50gr butter
flour for dusting
1 large onion
¼ l cream
1 (cube) chicken stock
salt and pepper

Cut the chicken into 4 to 5 pieces, season and lightly dust the pieces with flour. Put the butter in a hot pan and brown the chicken on all sides. Set aside. Brown the onions and vegetables (if you so wish).
Place the chicken back in the pan and cover with the beer (2 bottles of St. Feuillien). Let the chicken cook over low heat.
Once done, take the chicken out, reduce the sauce, then strain it and add the cream.
Season well.
Serve the chicken with the sauce, and side vegetables.

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Belgian Beer no.55: Bush (no, not the President!)

I already posted on a beer brewed by the Brasserie Dubuisson. Now on to the rest: the Bush beers. Not fooling around anymore with several bottles, we ordered at once the 'raffle'. A tasting of 4 Bush beers: the Amber (12%), the Blonde (10.5%), the Christmas (12%) and the Premium (13%). Thank God the glasses were smaller than the usual servings...

My favorite: the Blonde. A very clear and crisp beer, I liked its freshness.

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