When the Trappist designation became a strict appellation a requirement was that the beers had to be brewed within the monastery, ending the arrangement with St. Bernard. Produced by Hoegaarden. Duvel is one of my main ‘go to’ beers and I have told people that this is my real ‘lawnmower’ beer. ” Malheur Bière Brut “à la méthode originale” is an exclusive rich beer with 11% alcohol by volume, bottled and refermented up to three times in the bottle. #15) Vicaris Tripel Gueuze – Brewery Dilewyns – Dendermonde. They will not offer tours for individuals or small groups. Whatever the truth, the prescription certainly tastes good. The Trappist monks of Westmalle, just north of Antwerp, claim their beers not only cure loss of appetite and insomnia but reduce stress as well. Fantome Saison is what I would consider to be the epitome of the saison style. Named after – and allegedly the favourite tipple of – the Habsburg emperor Charles V, Gouden Carolus is a full-bodied dark brown ale with a sour and slightly fruity aftertaste. This pleasant golden blond beer is preferred by all who loves heavier, somewhat seasoned and refreshing beer. Westmalle Triple. Go tailor-made! #1) Struise Pannepot Grande Reserva Oak Aged – De Struise Brewers – Vleteren. I had the pleasure of helping brew a batch of Abt 12 with then brewer Bert Van Hecke in 2006. Most of this is factual, but the part about them brewing for themselves and ‘3 pubs in the neighborhood’ fails to mention that they also sold the beer to the locals that lived in the vicinity of the monastery. Like the other special beers of the Brewery Van Steenberge, Gulden Draak is a high fermentation beer with secondary fermentation. #20) Piraat – Brewery Van Steenberge – Ertvelde. This continued until Palm Breweries purchased Rodenbach and this beer was discontinued. Personally, Fantome is one of my favorite Belgian breweries. Lindemans Lambik is similar and a tad more commonplace. Surely therefore, our Saison Dupont is considered as “the classic” among the Belgian season beers! Aged Red is one of many fine beers from this brewery. This is a remarkable beer. Each sip hits you with complex flavors of toasty bitterness and deep caramel sweetness. The aroma has notes of dark fruits, toffee and some spices. This Belgian beer is a lovely amber colour, refreshingly bitter and makes a great aperitif. The brewery started selling the Trappist beers under the brand names Trappist Westvleteren, St.Sixtus or even later Sixtus. (Honorable Mention Rodenbach Vin de Cereal. This is not to say that there are not other great examples of saisons in Belgium, but in my opinion, these two are the best. From the Struise web site regarding the Pannepot beer –, This ‘Old Fisherman’s Ale’, named after the fishing trawlers on which men would risk life and limb to feed their families, sits somewhere in between a Belgian strong dark ale and a stout. In an effort to not populate the list with many beers from one brewery, I will only list my favorite two beers from each brewery. (The brewery was developed because it was known that regular water was poisoning people all over Europe and for some reason, beer did not cause illnesses, so it was always served to people in the hospital.) The flavor is fantastic and carries through with rich dark fruits, chocolate and spices. Once again a type of beer rather than a particular brew, Kriek is made from a base beer to which cherries are added or, in the case of the more commercial brands, cherry juice and perhaps even sugar. It is decanted from a bottle with a cork, as with sparkling wine. A great beer for a summer afternoon or for dinner along with some firm fish, chicken, pork or really almost anything. This beer was one of the first beers over 20% alcohol that was very well put together and actually tastes like a beer. All the Van Steenberge beers have very distinctive tastes and other excellent beers are Piraat, Augustijn, the Bornem beers, Monk’s Cafe, Garre Tripel and many others. This process makes gueuze a little sweeter and fuller-bodied than classic lambic. All the rest of the Het Anker beers are excellent, but this one really shines in my opinion. The beer was named to honor Duchess Mary of Burgundy who was the only daughter of Charles the Bold, born in 1457, but died tragically in a horsing accident in 1482 during a falcon hunt.
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