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Special Belge

We are thrilled to announce that Spéciale Belge, Brasserie Dupont’s first collaboration in its 166 year history, has arrived in port.  Spéciale Belge is the featured beer of Philly Beer Week, and will debut during the Opening Ceremonies at Independence Hall on June 1, 2012 in the presence of Mayor Nutter.  Doing the honors of tapping will be Iron Hill Brewer Chris LaPierre – fitting since they are the collaborators on this beer.  All Iron Hill locations (Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) will be pouring Spéciale Belge throughout June.  For a complete rundown of the venues that will be featuring the beer and a list of special appearances, check out the Philly Beer Week site.




  Belgian Family Owned

  Suitable for Cellaring

“Spéciale Belge starts [with] grassy dry hops that recall memories of rolling fields of grass crackling under the summer sun. This impression fades to a light body and tart acidity that lights up the palate… this is unlike anything you’ve had before.”

– Mario Rubio, “Brewed for Thought


Case, 6 x 75 cl (25.4 fl oz), cork finished
Keg, 20 liter

Spéciale Belge is a smoked interpretation of a classic Belgian beer style known as a “Spéciale,” of which Vieux Temps, Ginder Ale, and DeKoninck are three classic examples – though not the first.  These beers have a wonderful and rather recent (at least in Belgian brewing terms) history.   For the 1905 Universale Exhibition in Liege, the League of Brewers in Belgium devised a contest with the intent of promoting a genuinely Belgian refreshing amber beer.  Up until then, the Belgians were primarily known for dark beers, and the contest was run to compete with the growing influence of German lager, Czech pils, and English ales in the Belgian market.  Seventy-three beers were entered into the competition, and the winner was Brasserie de Chateaulineau’s Belgian Faleau.  A little more than a century later, here it is again, renewed and – dare we say – improved, at Dupont with American input.

Spéciale Belge is a refreshing amber beer, slightly fruity with a lightly caramelized malt flavor, and lightly laced with smoke.  Because of the signature Dupont yeast, this is a rather drier take on the style.  There is a bit of clove at the beginning and the end.

Want to know how this collaboration came about? Read more about the making of Spéciale Belge.

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