STRONG GOLDEN ALE 8% ABV
V&D Special Selection
Suitable for Cellaring
GRAND PRIZE, GOLD MEDAL
— 2011 Modeste Bierfestival (at De Koninck) for Best Beer from a Belgian Microbrewery
Case, 6 x 75 cl (25.4 fl oz), crown capped
Keg, 30 liter
12 x 33 cl (11.2 fl oz)
Don loves telling people that when he was a graduate student in Belgium Strong Golden Ales were funky, malty and full of character. Hop Ruiter combines Belgian appreciation for aromatic esters with the American love of hops. But unlike American IPAs and Belgian IPA wannabees, Hop Ruiter celebrates the finesse Belgians bring to using hops. Three different varieties (none American) are used; two in the boil and one in dry hopping.
The combination of type and technique gives Hop Ruiter a tannic almost oaky hop acidity reminiscent of good white wines. If you’re expecting American piney, resiny hops that fur your tongue, Hop Ruiter will disappoint. But if you want to enjoy noble hop aroma and fine bitterness that perfectly marries with malt sweetness to make an exceptionally smooth, full-flavored beer, Hop Ruiter will delight.
With consumption in Belgium on the decline, and international competition on the rise, creating a robust export market for rising star Belgian brewers is key to insuring that the brewing scene remains vibrant. That’s one motivation behind our “cooperation beer” with the Schelde Brewery. They’re talented renegade brewers in Turnhout. Hop Ruiter has swiftly become a best seller for them at home. We jointly export it to Japan, Italy, the Netherlands as well as to the U.S.
A mighty twelve Vanberg & DeWulf beers were named to the 2012 list edited by Chris Schonberger at Complex Media “100 Beers to Try Before You Die”. One among them is Hop Ruiter.
Jason & Todd Alstrom’s review of Hop Ruiter review in Beer Advocate
Score: A- | Excellent
A full-on collaboration with importer Vanberg & DeWulf, with their sights set on a hoppy Belgo-American Strong Golden Ale. Lacing from rim to end is epic, and a spectacular pale golden clarity shows off the bubbles. Faint oily hop resin meets a dry malted breadiness, with nutty yeast and spicy alcohol in the nose. Amazingly drinkable and refreshing moderate fluffed body. Hoppy with some sweet fresh-cut grass and herbal flavors. Bubble gum? Medicinal phenols are the second coming of bitterness here, though all is kept balanced with the dry maltiness laying down a beery blanket. Grain and hops pull equally in the dry finish. Super drinkable for an 8 percent ABV beer.
All About Beer, July ’11
“Rustic” it says on the label of this hoppy golden Belgian, and that’s what comes to mind when nosing it for the first time – saddle soap and damp hay, dried apple and earthy spice, with a note of kaffir lime. On the palate it is slightly sweeter than it is hoppy, with notes of ripe melon, mint, citrus zest and some funky spiciness. By the finish though, the hops and alcohol have taken hold, leaving a moderate and warming bitterness. I’d like to try this with roasted pheasant, or maybe bison steak.”
- Stephen Beaumont
“Beautiful pour, beautiful head! brilliant white mousse over a gauzily golden body. Very intoxicating to look at it. Candy, sweet clove, zinging spiciness: This is the smell that drew me to Belgian beer thirty years ago. And it tastes…just like that, only with a twist of bitter at the end that spins this all into another paradigm. Is it overhopped? No. Is it soppy-sweet? No. Am I going to drink the rest of it? You damn betcha.
- Lew Bryson