AmberHVermeulen

Dark Ale

Belgian Darks offer a massive range of characters. Colors play within the light brown to deep garnet hues, with thick, rocky heads of great retention. Aromas can be anywhere from traces of yeast, spiced, malty, floral and even slightly intoxicating. Flavors from dry and spiced, to sweet and malty. Most have a low level of bitterness.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

(source:http://www.beeradvocate.com) 

Rochefort 6° - 1/3L - 11.6fl.oz

    Delivery time:14 Days
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This is truly heaven sent beer. The pour and aroma are nothing short of amazing. Smells sweet and caramel like, head is thick and white. Lacing is long lasting and the color is a beautiful mahogany brown. The taste is where this beer really shines through, it is lively with perfect sweetness on the palate.

 

The Rochefort beers are, just like all other strengthfull beers of high fermentation, excellent for keeping. The expiration date is just a legally obliged indication which is irrelevant. In principle the beer is non-perishable. An expiration date is of course interesting because in that way the bottle date is known.
The flavour of the beer keeps evolving in the botlle, by the effects of the added barm and a series of chemical processes, which are unknown to us, and which are not yet scientific examinated in full. But what is accessible for everyone, is the magnificent development that the beer experienses in the bottle.

The only thing we know about the recipes, is that water coming from a well inside the monastery walls is used and that some coriander is added in the boiler; two malt- and hopspecies are used; sugar candy is added and the label also specifies 'unmalted grains'. According to the abbey the beer has to rest 6, 8 or 10 weeks (according to the product) before it is ready for consumption. The brewers are unknown to the public world. We know that brother Antoine, who was a brewer in Rochefort till a couple of years ago, moved to the Achelse Kluis, to work on the development of the new beers there, together with Brother Thomas of Westmalle. There are some nice pictures of him in his brewery, which are published in Michael Jackson's 'Great Beers of Belgium'. His successor in Rochefort is Brother Pierre. The beers evolve the fastest during the first months. They all evolve from wild, complex brewings at the start, to much more soft beers which will with the lapse of time lose almost all interfaces with fresh brewings. After 6 months, when the added yeast is no longer active, and the complexity has reached his summit, the beer begins in a certain way lose all its classical flavour marks. Instead of that, through many years, touches appear which reminds of port, madeira or, with very old beers, certain liqueurs. Sometimes, after about a year, there is a clear brut-flavour to distinguish.

his evolution is attached to chemical processes which are also found in other beers, certainly when they are produced at a similar way. Think hereby in the first place at other dark Trappist beers or Abbey beers, often called 'double'. In general the above-mentioned evolution in flavour shall be parallel with the evolution in such beers.

Now, what makes this Trappist beer so special? According to us, in the first place, the flavour, about which everyone has his own opinion and about which in fact there is not much more to say. And in the second place: the ability to have, in a certain way, a control over the beer ourselves: as the flavour evolves strong through the years and months, you can keep a stock of it and investigate how old the beer should be, before you find it at flavour. This examination has to be accompanied by regular and profound tastings, which are not unpleasant neither. In the quest for the ultimate bottle you can increase your chances.

To conclude still this: make no abuse of this gift of God. Let your Rochefort moment also be a moment of reflection. Enjoy it, drink a second glass, and a third for special occasions, but never more. Be heedless of the way of living of the monks, who devote their life to God, and who, with respect and worship for the components that nature gives us, deliver quality products. Let their silence and their austerity persuade to you, and be amazed over and over again, which beautiful results love and belief can produce
.

Brewers Website: click here

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St Benoit Brown 6.5° -1/3L- 11.6fl.oz

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A dark brown abbey beer with a beautiful, fine and steady head and a delicate sparkle. Its distinctive and pleasant aroma of dark malt gives it a fruity smell and its coloring comes exclusively from the malt. Its taste is typical of the three special malts used and leaves a very pleasant, slightly bitter aftertaste. It is brought to flavor in the brewing room with three natural aromatics. It is best appreciated between 8° and 12° and goes perfectly well with red meats, highly seasoned dishes and mild cheeses.

 

Logo Du Bocq BreweryEverything began in 1858 when Martin BELOT, farmer in Purnode, started brewing a beer in his farm. In the very beginning, the beer was only brewed in the winter, when there was no work for his farmworkers on the fields.
The discovery of a well of water of outstanding quality and quantity close to the farm was, of course, an additional asset.

The brewery proposed a very wide range of products, going from table-beer to strong beers, passing through a large mix of densities, colours, bitterness and tastes.
The brewer distributed the beers himself to his customers, mostly within a few kilometers around the brewery. It was after the first worldwar that the beer
La GAULOISE top-fermented brown beer, started to be brewed.  From the very beginning, this beer has been very successful. La Gauloise brown is nowadays the oldest beer brewed and produced by Brasserie du Bocq.

The Old BreweryBrasserie du Bocq was a PLC since 1949. 100% family concern, the brewery still remains independent of all Belgian or foreign brewing groups. All the farmactivities and door-to-door deliveries were definitely stopped in 1960. The delivery of the beers started through supermarkets, drinkmarkets and beermerchants.
By taking over the Brasserie Centrale de Marbaix-la-Tour in 1967, Brasserie du Bocq added two new beers to its range of products : SAISON REGAL and REGAL CHRISTMAS. 
The Belot family decided at that period to specialize in the production of special top-fermented beers with refermentation in the bottle.

In 1983, Brasserie du Bocq stopped all production at Brasserie Centrale de Marbaix-la-Tour in order to concentrate the entire production of beers in Purnode where the production equipment is being modernized with own cash. Taking advantage of the query for traditional beers, Brasserie du Bocq started with the exportation of its products. And this became a success. Indeed, Belgian beers have an excellent reputation all over the world.  Brasserie du Bocq exports mainly to France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Australia, Japan … The production volume has doubled in seven years and reached almost 60.000 hectolitres in 2000. With actual sales of more than 6.250.000 Euros, Brasserie du Bocq is considered as being one of the most important independent breweries of Wallonia.

Moreover, Brasserie du Bocq has the necessary production facilities and adequate sales department in order to bear a contract brewing production. This way, the company provides an outstanding know-how and industrial tool to its customers.

Brasserie Du Bocq

Today, nothing has changed in Purnode, at least in the art of brewing. Even if the company has widely extended its local activities, it nevertheless remains a family concern.
Be sure this story will last for many years and that the beers of the Brasserie du Bocq will animate for ever and ever this charming little village of Purnode.

At Brasserie du Bocq, two brews a day are produced : one brew contents about 22.000 litres or 220 hectolitres.

Brewers Website: click here

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Biere Des Grottes 6.5° Avaliable 1/3 and 3/4 liter - (11.16 and 25.36 ounce)

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The latest acquisition “Grottenbier” was created by Master Brewer Pierre Celis. It is an aromatic dark beer with 6.5% alcohol content. Ages in the caves deep under the ground where the exceptional climatic circumstances give it a unique aroma and flavor without equal.  As it is the case with Champagne, the bottles are placed in a “pupitre” with results in an additional fermentation. Bottle pours a red brown, fairly dark but fairly clear. This high fermentation beer has been pointed out as one of the best 10 present-day beers by beer guru Michael Jackson.

Grottenbier aging in the cavesWater, pumped up from a depth of 150 meter is the basis of all St. Bernardus beers. This water is not only the purest but has also a historical background. Scientists have proved that the water that is pumped up now, is originating from rainfall from the time of Jeanne d’Arc. The water seeped to Watou through a pervious stratum of sand from the St. Omer area in France. After brewing, the beer is maturing in a natural way and subsequently bottled unfiltered. By adding sugar and yeast, the beer gets a second fermentation in the bottle, carbonating the beer in a natural way. This gives the beer a beautiful and large froth.

The brewery is located in the most remote corner of West Flanders, in the middle of “Le Plat Pays”, in the heart of the hop area in West Flanders, a beer is made that fancies most of the beer lovers.

In this poetry village, called Watou, time is apparently passing by slower than in the rest of the country. Life over there is different, quieter; where people live in accordance with nature, where tradition and values are honoured as if they stand the tooth of ages. This is the case of the beer brewery for instance.

Due to the anti clerical policy in the beginning of the past century, the Catsberg Abbey Community, located in the northern part of France, decided to move to Watou, a small village only a couple of kilometres further away but located in Belgium. They transformed a farm into the “Refuge Notre Dame de St.Bernard” with the production of Abbey cheese as main production. With the yield of the sales, they financed the Abbey activities.

In the early thirties, the attitude versus the Clerical in France got better and in 1934, the Abbey community decided to dispose of the Belgian annex and to bring back all activities to France. Shortly after the Second World War, the Trappist Monastery St. Sixtus decided to stop to commercialise their beer as they wanted to call upon non-residents.

An agreement was made : inside the walls of the Trappist Monastery there would brew only beer for their own consumption, for sales to the public at the gates of the Monastery and also for a few taverns whom where connected to the Monastery. Mr. Deconinck on the other hand would brew and commercialise the Trappist Beers under licence (for a period of 30 years) A new brewery was constructed and Mr. Deconinck started to brew the Sixtus beers with the help of the Masterbrewer of Westvleteren, who brought along his wisdom, knowledge and the original recipes.

In the beginning of the 60’s, the sun-in-law of Mr. Deconinck, Mr. Claus stepped into the brewery and negotiations started to renew the license. This was finalised in 1962, again for a period of 30 years (until 1992)

In 1992, the agreement came to an end because the Trappist Monasteries (5 in Belgium and 1 in the Netherlands) decided that the qualification ‘Trappistenbier’ could only be given to beers brewed inside the walls of the Trappist Monastery.

Therefore, since 1992 the beers brewed at the Trappistenweg 23 in Watou are commercialised under a new brand name ‘ StBernardus’ (referring to the Refuge de Notre Dame de StBernard – cfr. supra).

Brewers Website: click here

BeerAdvocate Review :

Petrus Speciale 5.5° - 1/3L - 11.6fl.oz

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Amber colored top-fermented beer, brewed according to an old traditional recipe. A tasty beer, mellow in character that you can carry on drinking. Pours a lightly hazed honeyed amber color with some orange highlights. Big, rocky bone white head that's lasting a good while and leaving nice lacing. Aromas of honey, pear, hay and a lightly herbaceous hop character.

Crisp and refreshing.

 The old Bavik breweryHow it all begun. In August 1894 Adolphe De Brabandere, farmer at the "Hof ter Koutere" submitted an application with the town council of Bavikhove for permission to “build a brewery”. One of his children, Joseph De Brabandere, concocted that very same year his very first brew. Joseph De Brabandere died in 1929 at the age of 54. After some difficult years, his son Albert took the lead of the brewery and under his impulse the company grew steadily.

The growth.Before 1950 the beer was exclusively sold to cafés and individuals. After 1950 deliveries were made to beer merchants. This was also theTruck delivering beertime that pils beer became popular. Till then, mainly table beer was brewed in addition to the draughts beer that was supplied to cafés.   The sales network was extended and now it became possible to purchase the Bavik and Bon-Val products through the beer traders and the cafés in West- and East Flanders and in Hainaut. In the meantime father Albert had been married for some time and he had 5 children of which 2 sons: Ignace and Vincent. They both contributed to the flourishing business of the Bavik Brewery. In the midst of the seventies, the beer trade was in trouble because of the success of the department stores. Therefore the brewery invested in another market segment, the sector of restaurants and cafés. In 1975 they had 150 customers and when they celebrated their centenary they counted about thousands of clients.

 

Petrus Speciale LabelToday, four generations since its establishment, Bavik Brewery is still a family run business. Despite the many take-overs and the fusions in the beer sector, we wish to safeguard our independency in order to assure the quality and the regional identity. As one of the largest independent breweries in Belgium, we wish to continue working in the future to maintain our beer culture.

Brewers Website: click here

BeerAdvocate Review :

Ezel Brown Ale 6.5° - 1/4L - 8.4fl.oz

    Delivery time:14 Days
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In Flanders, "Ezel" {donkey} is a nickname given to specific people or even entire village communities. However, as the people of this area, the word "Ezel" symbolizes not so much stupidity, but patient and dogged perseverance, a perseverance that is quite conscious of its own quality. It has a mellow taste quite light and fresh. Orange with lovely carbonation strings.  The head is big, small bubbles below, big ones in the middle and a nice cream dome on top. The taste is quite light and fresh.  A tasty beer with a nice taste pallet !

 

 

The old Bavik breweryHow it all begun. In August 1894 Adolphe De Brabandere, farmer at the "Hof ter Koutere" submitted an application with the town council of Bavikhove for permission to “build a brewery”. One of his children, Joseph De Brabandere, concocted that very same year his very first brew. Joseph De Brabandere died in 1929 at the age of 54. After some difficult years, his son Albert took the lead of the brewery and under his impulse the company grew steadily.

The growth.Before 1950 the beer was exclusively sold to cafés and individuals. After 1950 deliveries were made to beer merchants. This was also theTruck delivering beertime that pils beer became popular. Till then, mainly table beer was brewed in addition to the draughts beer that was supplied to cafés.   The sales network was extended and now it became possible to purchase the Bavik and Bon-Val products through the beer traders and the cafés in West- and East Flanders and in Hainaut. In the meantime father Albert had been married for some time and he had 5 children of which 2 sons: Ignace and Vincent. They both contributed to the flourishing business of the Bavik Brewery. In the midst of the seventies, the beer trade was in trouble because of the success of the department stores. Therefore the brewery invested in another market segment, the sector of restaurants and cafés. In 1975 they had 150 customers and when they celebrated their centenary they counted about thousands of clients.

Ezel White LabelToday, four generations since its establishment, Bavik Brewery is still a family run business. Despite the many take-overs and the fusions in the beer sector, we wish to safeguard our independency in order to assure the quality and the regional identity. As one of the largest independent breweries in Belgium, we wish to continue working in the future to maintain our beer culture.

Brewers Website: click here

BeerAdvocate Review :

Tongerlo Double Dark 6° - 1/3L - 11.6fl.oz

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Certified Belgian Abbey Beer means that it is associated with an existing or former Abbey. It has been brewed with the consent of the Abbey monks. It pays royalties to help finance the Abbey's charitable activities. It only uses marketing activity approved by the monks.

The beers of Tongerlo have been enjoyed by travellers for over 900 years. The Abbey was destroyed in the French revolution but was rebuilt by the monks a little later. They did not rebuild the brewery but looked for an outside brewer. Tongerlo Double Dark. A reddish-amber coloured ale.  A well made, soft, balanced beer.

 

Tongerlo Vlaams TorentjeTongerlo, an authentic beer with tradition.

There are different facts from which we can tell the Norbertines of Tongerlo have been brewing beer since the establishment of the abbey in 1133. First of all, back then, beer was the most important beverage in our parts. After all, clean potable water was not widely available. Furthermore, the bishop of Kamerijk´s establishing charter claims a gift of "a piece of land in Tongerlo with an annual yield of 38 barrels of brewing grain and 10 barrels of barley". Both products are basic ingredients for brewing beer. From that we can conclude that beer has been brewed in the abbey since the 12th century.

World War I put an end to the brewing activities in the abbey. After all, the German occupying forces took possession of the precious copper stills with a view to use them in battle.

In 1989 the abbey landed a deal with the Haacht Brewery to start brewing Tongerlo abbey beer again.

Today the Norbertines of Tongerlo are still involved in the production of Tongerlo abbey beer. Thanks to the interaction between modern brewing techniques and the respectful use of centuries-old traditions, the ambition to produce a premium quality beer with a great taste remains the same.

Certified Belgian Abbey BeerSource: L.C. Van Dyck: "The former brewery of the Tongerlo abbey."

With modern brewing techniques and great passion,Brewery Haacht helps the Norbertines of Tongerlo in preserving these centuries-old traditions

Storage and serving tips

Store your bottles upright at basement temperature, in a dry and dark room. We advise you to consume Tongerlo before the expiry date, even though it will remain consumable for a couple of months after the expiry date.The ideal serving temperature of Tongerlo's Double Brown is between 10 and 12 degrees centigrade. Tongerlo's abbey beer reveals itself best when served in a typical goblet. Thanks to the goblet's significant design, the flavour maximally expresses itself. Be careful to tilt the glass when pouring the beer. Otherwise, the foam will overflow. If you enjoy the yeast with your beer (adds a richer flavour, contains vitamin B) first pour ¾ of the bottle. Then twist the bottle to loosen the yeast on the bottom.The remaining mixture can be poured into the glass.

Brewers Website: click here

BeerAdvocate Review :

Leffe Brune 6.5° - 1/3L - 11.6fl.oz

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Leffe Brown is substantially more robust than Leffe Blond. This rich variety combines the rich aroma of roasted caramel with a slightly sweet finish. It is an excellent accompaniment to hearty, sweet and savory types of cuisine.

 

 

 

InBev Brewing Kettle

The range was originally brewed in the town of Leffe in the Abbaye de Notre Dame by the Norbentine monks. The first Leffe beer was brewed around 1152 in this small village monastery by the river Meuse in the province of Namur, Southern Belgium.

Ill fate struck the monastery in 1440, when it was all but destroyed by a flood. Six years later a fire swept the village. Despite this, independent brewing of fine Leffe beers continued for a further three centuries until, during the Napoleonic wars the brewery was finally plundered.

Leffe beer was no more, until the descendants of the brewers struck a deal with a non-secular brewery to continue the fine tradition. Thus the St-Guibert brewery, owned by Interbrew and based in the small town of Mont St-Guibert, has been brewing under the Leffe brand name since 1952.

There are five different beers in the Leffe range. By far the two most popular (and indeed, widely available) are Blonde and Brune. Due to the prevailing preference for straw-colour, pilsner-like beers, Blonde is the favourite of the two, although all Leffe beers generally have a lovely aromatic malt character.

Until now this beer with the characteristic saturated taste has been brewed of the best natural ingredients using the special technology of high fermentation and is created for those, who know how to enjoy life. In 1952 the Leffe brewery became part of the Interbrew company. (Now InBev)

While Leffe is not brewed in the abbey itself any more, the knowledge and unique taste developed over hundreds of years is retained today. One can visit the Leffe museum in the town of Dinant. 

The serving and drinking of a Leffe is heavily ritualised and linked to the heritage of Belgian beers. The key element of this ritual is the use of a branded glass, as shown in the photograph. In Belgium every type of beer, particularly a special ale, is served in its own type of branded glass. For this reason, many pubs and bars will not normally serve Leffe in standard glasses.

The mere presence of a brand name on a glass will of course not impart any difference to the taste or texture of the beer. The type of glass however may have an influence, with a chalice shaped glass better suited for strong, richly flavoured ales such as abbey beers than a conventional straight shaped glass used for lagers  and light ales .

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