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Category Archives: Featured Belgian beer

Brasserie Dupont’s Next Big Breakout Beer

We’re thrilled with the deft, spot on encomium La Biere de Beloeil from Brasserie Dupont received in Ken Weaver’s tone poem on this “especially unique offering  from one of the world’s truly inspirational farmhouse breweries – Brasserie Dupont” .  We know you are all busy, but please take 10 minutes to read this brilliant review - Feature this dazzling beer on your tap and bottle list of fall beers and make new friends and fans. Could this be the next great breakout beer from the legendary Dupont? Check out these excerpts and see if you don’t think the answer is … Yes.”Brasserie Dupont is regularly cited as one of the planet’s finest breweries. Offerings like the core Saisons, Moinettes, Avec les Bons Voeux continue to challenge American palates (via the spicy Dupont yeast) and American brewers (who make great efforts to replicate its effects here).  It’s hard enough to say that we think as highly of any beer as we do Saison Dupont – at least it makes more sense when it comes from the same source. This could quite possibly be the most overlooked beer in Brasserie Dupont (sic Vanberg & deWulf’s entire lineup) Whereas Saison Dupont leans towards a firm bitterness and yeast forward approach, La Biere de Beloiel opens up to something else entirely. While categorized as a strong saison – it reeminded us a great deal of those most layered, smooth and honeyed of quadrupels..It is a seemless nectar that is effortlessly light…. One could enjoy this beer endlessly. As one can tell I am pretty enamored of this beer.Click on the link above to download the PDF and share it on social media and with your customers. La Biere de Beloiel earns 95/98 Rate Beer, was recently featured on Beer Pulse and is a splendid exotic follow-up to the mind-blowing Gallo Roman Gruit, Posca Rustica. Gotta getcha some!

Healthy Spirits Beer Club Tasting Notes

We’re thrilled to have received these tasting notes from Dave Hauslein and everyone at Healthy Spirits in San Francisco for our newly released Saison Dupont Curvee Dry Hopping 2013 and Green Jack Brewery’s Rippa.
SAISON DUPONT CUVEE DRY HOPPING TASTING NOTES: Ssison Dupont Cuvee Dry Hopping

Pours the color of unfiltered apple juice, with a slight chill haze and a foamy, brilliant white head. Much like the classic Saison DuPont, this dry-hopped version’s aromatic qualities are elegant and assured. A delicate floral hoppiness envelops the expected aromas of black pepper, fresh cut grass and lemon rind. The role of the triskel hops is subtle but significant.Though triskel is high in alpha acids by French and Belgian standards (average 9.0 AAU) it is most commonly utilized for late addition and dry-hopping, which is, of course, how it was used here. If you focus on the finish, just as the sweetness of the pilsner malt begins to sharpen up towards the back end, you may detect a rising bitterness. It is perceivable more in the mouthfeel than the flavor profile, but it’s there. And with each sip, it gradually builds, eventually opening up into more developed fruity and floral notes. It’s peachy, with a bit of white grape acidity. A very clever choice for such a recognizable beer. Saison DuPont is one of a few beers most people could probably pick out of a line-up. It’s a staple, especially to those of us who pair our beer with food. It makes sense to go with such an unobtrusive, complementary hop varietal. Drink this one fresh to take advantage of the full range of hop flavors.

GREEN JACK RIPPA-TASTING NOTES:

rippa_labelRippa pours clear dark amber with a thin off-white head and a consistent ring of thin, sticky lacing. The mildly sweet, bready aroma strongly suggests the use of English Maris Otter malt. Faint tropical notes of grape and peach and a subtle herbaceous bitterness.  I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, as I’ve seen it categorized as a Belgian-style tripel, a barleywine and an “English triple.” The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Going on first impressions, I would’ve taken this for an uncharacteristically strong English IPA. But there’s more to it than that. A sneaky coriander and pink peppercorn fruity spice note fades in when you least expect it, throwing the comforting, shortbread-like malt sweetness off kilter. As it warms up, the Belgian characteristics become more prominent. Raisiny sweetness shoulders up to the biscuity Maris Otter, creating a flavor combination reminiscent of mince pie. English bred Challenger hops lend a touch of spice to the proceedings, while the Celeia varietal provides a formidable bitter backbone. This mash-up of the best England and Belgium have to offer is surprisingly complementary. The flavors trade off one another, circuitously bound together by malt sweetness but ultimately diverging at the apex of hop bitterness. Fascinating stuff. Serve lightly chilled.

The best beers for summer

The press agrees on one thing, our portfolio has all the best beers for summer!

The New York Times has named Saison the “perfect beer for summer” for 2013, and Saison Dupont is the perfect Saison! And since Saisons were traditionally made by Belgian farmers, why break with tradition? Saison Dupont is the only beer on the list actually imported from Belgium!

saison

Gayot’s list of 10 best summer beers is out. First up and probably the littlest beer to make the list is Vanberg & Dewulf’s rising star from Brasserie Dubuisson’s- Peche Mel. Spread the word, it’s available on tap and in bottles now!

Scaldis Peche Mel

 

Saison Dupont Cuvee Dry Hopping 2013 Coming to USA This Spring

After 5 years of making Belgians extremely happy with their special seasonal release a dry-hop Ssison Dupont Cuvee Dry Hopping version of SAISON DUPONT, Vanberg & DeWulf and Brasserie Dupont are now able to make American drinkers equally happy. Saison Dupont Cuvee Dry Hopping 2013 will be available this May only featuring the famous TRISKEL hop varietal from Alsace.

Triskel is bred from the French Strissespalt and English Yeoman hops. Dupont’s master brewer Oliver Dedeycker describes it as “combining the aromatic notes, mainly floral, of Strisselspalt with the fruity character of Yeoman.” The unusual name, Triskel, was apparently inspired by triskelion, the symbol of the Gauls, those beer drinking ancestors of the French, which represents the three elements: Earth, Air and Water.

Cuvee 2013 will be available in the following formats:

case 12x75cl (please note bottles will be brown to better preserve dry-hop aroma and flavor)
30L KeyKegs.

Distributors in the Vanberg & DeWulf network will be able to pre-order their supplies of Saison Dupont Cuvee Dry Hopping only in January for delivery in April to the best retailers, bars, restaurants and beer connoisseurs coast to coast.

Saison Dupont Named One The Twenty Most Influential Beers of All Time

Chris Schonberger, editor of First We Feast gathered a group of beer experts to put together a list of the twenty most influential beers of all time. Saison Dupont was given this honor, read more below.

Chris Schonberger says: “If anyone in American know their Belgian beers, it’s Don Feinberg. Before the majority of Americans had even heard of a farmhouse ale or a sour, he was driving around Belgium seeking out small, traditional breweries and bringing their beers back to America in suitcases. After establishing Vanberg & DeWulf in 1982, he went on—with the help of his wife, Wendy Littlefiled—to introduce the country to world-class beers like Duvel, Rodenbach Grand Cru, and Frank Boon’s lambics.

Given this history, I can forgive Don for answering with the slightly argumentative response, “Belgian beer,” when asked about the most influential brews of all time. If he had left it at that, I might have pegged him a curmudgeon. But, in fact, his reasoning is both heartfelt and instructive, and worth sharing here:

“Belgian beer broke the ridiculous hold of Reinheitsgebot [the German purity law regulating how beer can be made] on the American imagination. It showed home brewers, craft brewers, and big brewers that it’s what’s in the bottle that counts, not some absurd adherence to an approved ingredient list or narrow stylistic guidelines. It showed the essential importance of fermentation, and the value of re-fermentation for stability (why pasteurize when you can re-ferment?). It showed that that sugar is an ingredient to be prized if you want drinkability with your higher alcohol; that hops are just one of the spices brewers should use; that sour is good, that strong is good, that aging in barrel or in bottle is good, that more than one fermentation is good, that fruit is good; that, in sum, there is no one great beer, there are only great beers and anyone with a palate and passion can go out and make one.”

The man makes a good point. And so I’ll let Don be the visionary and the teacher, and I’ll be the list-obsessed Internet journalist and make a pick for him.

The beers that Vanberg & DeWulf brought across the pond from Belgium have been undeniably influential in inspiring the American craft beer movement, for all the reasons Don notes above. And for me, looking at its catalog, the one beer that stands out is Saison Dupont—the farmhouse ale whose effervesce, earthy hop character, and dry finish have set the rubric for so many that have come after.

Needless to say, there’s a story there too: When the seminal beer writer Michael Jackson encouraged Don to go visit Marc Rosier (then the brewer at Brasserie Dupont), this beer was actually slated for extinction due to its lack of popularity. Don convinced the brewery to keep making it, brought it to America, and now the beer is considered among the world’s best. (Interesting side note: It has also become popular back home in Belgium.)

As Wendy Littlefield points out, “An English journalist and and American importer made it possible for Saison Dupont to become the most imitated style of beer by craft brewers.”

To see the rest of the list click here

 

Saison Dupont

A perfect beer for the first weekend of summer

Gust (@ Schelde Brewery in Belgium) alerted us to this fanciful and fun review (penned in the UK) by Simon (the blogger) of our dry hopped Belgian ale http://www.camrgb.org/2012/06/scheldebrouwerij-hop-ruiter-8/

Here is a snippet: “Hop-Ruiter is a burning yellow sun in my glass with the lingering stench of yeast wrapped apples and pears wearing spicy hop chainmail.
You get a mouthful of sexy metallic Belgian yeast dressed in gooey runny toffee chaps and cowboy boots.”

No wonder it was named best beer from a Belgian microbrewery. Thanks Simon

Press and medals

Don and I are back from three months of living and working with our brewers in Belgium, France, Italy, and Iceland. We welcomed almost 60 VIPs during that time, and our new Belgian experts range from press members to sales teams from California, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.

In addition, we are proud to announce a host of new beer medals: we entered nine beers into this year’s World Beer Championships and walked away with 2 platinums, 4 golds, and 3 silvers. Look all the way to your right for information on some of the award-winning beers.

There has been an enormous amount of press about our beers, and there will be more to come between now and the end of summer. Saisons are perfect for the onset of warm weather; Time magazine thinks Saison Dupont is one of the 9 beers you should be drinking this summer and the Weekly Pint pays homage to this “reigning, definitive example of the style.” The recently launched and beautifully curated Food Loves Beer magazine believes saisons are in style all year round, and also named Bière de Miel a wedding-worthy beer.

Beer of the Week: Spéciale Belge

Psst.  Know what special collaboration beer is getting tapped in THREE days?

 

 

We are thrilled to announce that Spéciale Belge, the featured beer of Philly Beer Week and Brasserie Dupont’s first collaboration in its 166 year history, will debut during the Opening Ceremonies at Independence Hall on June 1, 2012.  A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog post about the making of Spéciale Belge and can hardly believe that Philly Beer Week is a mere three days away!  Iron Hill Brewer Chris LaPierre – Spéciale Belge’s “collabo-brewer” – will be doing the honors of tapping, and all Iron Hill locations (Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) will be pouring Spéciale Belge throughout June.

Spéciale Belge is a refreshing amber beer that begins and ends with a whisper of clove.  Slightly fruity, full of lightly caramelized malt flavor, and lightly laced with smoke, the signature Dupont yeast makes Spéciale Belge a drier take on the classic Belgian “Spéciale” style.  We’ll spare you the history lesson for now, but for check out the Spéciale Belge page for more information on the “Speciale,” one of the “newest” Belgian beer styles.

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.

Praise for Spéciale Belge:

“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

“…when you get past the beginning stage, as the beer warms ever so slightly, the tart flavors begin to shine. Unusual for the style — and at the request of PBW co-chair Tom Peters — Spéciale Belge includes smoked malt, which lays on top of the slightly fruity body to create a layered taste with each swallow. Thanks to the use of signature Dupont yeast, which is known for its dryness, the golden liquid is not sweet and the finish is appropriately refreshing.”

- Danya Henniger, “The Drink Nation”

Moinette Steamed Clams

As an ardent seafood lover, I believe that there are few things in life that are better than succulent Little Neck clams steamed in a rich bath of Moinette Blonde, butter, garlic, and spices.  Moinette steamed clams are wonderful as an appetizer or, for seafood lovers, as a main dish.

This simple and delicious recipe comes courtesy of Cory Craig, chef at the Otesaga Hotel and Hawkeye Bar and Grill.

Bon appétit!

Ingredients (serves 6)

36 Little Neck clams, scrubbed
1/2 cup butter
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups Moinette Blonde
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute briefly.  Stir in beer, oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes.  Add clams to the broth mixture and cover.

Steam until all clams have opened; discard any that do not open.  Serve in bowls, and ladle broth generously over them.  Serve with crusty bread for dipping.

Beer of the Week: Moinette Blonde

Moinette Blonde

Smoked duck cheddar and potato dumplings with Moinette Blonde sauce.  Sea bass filet with anchovies and olives.  Crispy shrimp in Moinette Remoulade.

Is your mouth watering yet?  This week, we’ll be featuring plenty of Moinette Blonde recipes and pairings to quench your thirst and satiate your hunger.

In Belgium, Moinette Blonde is Brasserie Dupont‘s best seller. Though Saison Dupont is better known in this country, Moinette Blonde and Brune are rapidly gaining followings among beer aficionados. Moinette has an herbal bouquet, ginger, pear and spice notes. Full and round with a fruity finish and snappy hop bitterness.