Saison Dupont was named one of the best Saisons on the planet by Men’s Journal. Check out the article below, and read the rest to find out the other beers they consider top-tier!
Category Archives: Press
Saison Dupont has just been featured in First We Feast’s profile of Garrett Oliver’s “10 Beers That Made My Career.”
In addition, the newest scores on our lambic and more are out from Beverage Testing Institute:
The crew at At First We Feast has put out a list of Belgian Beers to drink before you die- and some of our favorites are on the list! Check it out: http://firstwefeast.com/drink/best-belgian-beers/s/109638/
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!
Gayot’s list of 10 best summer beers is out. First up and probably the littlest beer to make the list is Belgian Experts’ rising star from Brasserie Dubuisson’s- Peche Mel. Spread the word, it’s available on tap and in bottles now!
Thrilled to have the lovely organic and summery Foret Saison from Brasserie Dupont featured in Philly.com! A perfect choice for the quickly changing weather and sunshine, with spring finally warming up and summer around the corner. Pick up a bottle and enjoy sipping a glass outside in the sun!
After 5 years of making Belgians extremely happy with their special seasonal release a dry-hop 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)
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.
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.”
Chris Schonberger asked friends in the beer world to help him develop a list of 100 Essential Beers. 12 Vanberg & DeWulf beers are on that list including Saison Dupont which subsequently was on the same publication’s list of the 20 most influential beers of all time. We think you will enjoy this list.
Avec Les Bons Voeux
Perhaps the most perfect Christmas beer. Also, the one to choose for Thanksgiving turkey. It has a rich gold color; it’s fragrant (lemony with hints of pepper, banana, and clove), as all the Dupont beers are, and has a full, deep, malt richness that lingers on your tongue for what feels like the entire holiday season. Considered by some to be the finest offering from this unparalleled brewery.
Avril, an organic bière de table, weighs in at 3.5 percent ABV, yet is sturdy and nuanced. Dupont brewer Olivier Dedeycker believes that the original saisons were around this gravity. Session beer specialists like Lew Bryson love this. Who needs an industrial lager when this light, bright, flavorful beauty exists?
Dupont Biere de Beloeil
“Rare. The beer with the smallest production from the Dupont Brewery, and winner of the battle of the Belgians. The ideal mix of a Saison and a Belgian Tripel.”
The quintessential saison. Lively and zesty from beginning to end, the beer starts out with a jumble of spicy, fruity, and earthy notes. Then some sweetness arrives, only to be overtaken by brisk hops and a long, dry finish. Another excellent beer to pair with food.”
A proprietary blend of lambic that is virtually still—lambic is to gueuze as chardonnay is to champagne. It’s intensely complex, as it’s blended from two sources. Sour is the new frontier of complexity, and we’ve been working in this realm for over two decades. Beers need not be high in alcohol to be sophisticated.
A mystic marriage of lambic and organic kombucha that was named Experimental of the Year at the U.S. Open of Beer, this is the mimosa of beers. Light, bright, uplifting, and delicious, this is the beer brunch was invented for.
A rare example of a gruit from the endlessly creative Olivier Dedeycker, the brewer at Dupont. Food friendly, low in hops, and max in spices.
Scaldis Prestige de Nuits
“A cask-conditioned strong ale aged in Cotes de Nuits barrels, the best marriage of beer and wood we’ve ever experienced. A perfect 100 on RateBeer and BeerAdvocate three years running from a brewery that’s been in operation longer than Belgium has been a country
The recipe comes from the my husband Don Feinberg, who created the recipes for several beers you might know: Ommegang, Hennepin, Rare Vos, 3 Philosophers. He was the person who first brought Duvel, Rodenbach, Boon lambics, and Saison Dupont to the States. This strong golden ale brewed at Schelde Brouwerij melds Belgian brewing prowess with an American optic. To our delight, Hop Ruiter won top prize as Best New Beer and has become the brewery’s best seller in Belgium, while also receiving great critical acclaim among American beer enthusiasts.”
Anne-Catherine Dilewyns is celebrated as one of a handful of rising star women brewers on the planet, and she’s only 25! This is a category-bending new beer from one of Belgium’s finest. Dilewyns’s beers are never filtered and have a lovely chewy quality.”
“Want to introduce your friends to a great beer they’ve never tasted? Witkap! (Brouwerij Slaghmuylder in Ninove). Witkap Stimulo is a rare example of an abbey singel (what the monks drink for lunch) brewed at inside an incredibly atmospheric example of industrial archaeology, by Karel Goddeau (the blender behind DeCam lambics) using whole flower hops.”
Read the full list here.
You know…at long last bieres de gardes are getting their due. Maybe it took the ascendance of Saison Dupont and the embrace of the style by American craft brewers. Maybe it was the rise of farmstead brewing in America. (we built the first farmstead brewery in the US in 2003 with Ommegang). At any rate American beer lovers are discovering the elegant, nuanced and balanced beers of Brasserie Castelain. We are loving the way that Castelain is tasting on tap at Trencherman with Michael & Patrick Sheerin’s(Jena Georges, Lutece Blackbird etc) delicious dishes in our home town of Chicago.
Castelain Grand Cru won a coveted gold in the World Beer Championships in June 2012. Here’s what the judges wrote:
“Bright amber gem color. Lovely aromas of toasted fruit custard, pastry and delicate spice with a supple fruity, yet dry, medium to full body, and long mouthwatering citrus souffle pepper, and grassy hop flourish. A delicious seamless sipper or table Old World beer.”
This coming month Castelain Grand Cru is is being featured in the Rare Beer Club. They have kindly released their tasting notes to Vanberg & Dewulf . We are delighted AND we agree.
Castelain Grand Cru
Many Bières de Garde are wonderful examples of “hybrid” beer, quite like Germany’s Kölsch. In this case, the hybrid description refers to a beer being top fermented (like an ale) yet cool-aged for an extended period (like a lager). The result is a beer with great depth of flavor, smoothed out by time and low temperatures for 6-10 weeks. Indeed, we’ll advise right upfront that this beer is impressively slaking for a beer of nearly 16 proof. A variant, known simply as Castelain, has been made by the brewery for many years and was described by famed late beer writer Michael Jackson as: “the sweetest among the Bière de Gardes. Earthy, grassy, citrusy, slightly sticky palate, with aromatic maltiness: long finish. A beer to go with food.” Grand Cru is a ramped up version of that beer—the brewery’s strongest, in fact. So let’s stop keeping and start tasting, shall we? Pours a deep, coppery straw color and wears a nice dressing of creamy, off white foam. On the nose, expect a delicately floral aroma. We found it to be lightly honeyed, with a faint note of gingerbread dough. Also distinctly nutty—we interpreted this as almonds, perhaps chestnuts (sweeter nuts). Not surprisingly then, there’s also a very prominent Marzipan note—further showcasing the nutty sweetness of the locally sourced Pas de Calais malt. As it warms, a prominent grassiness develops atop an earthy backdrop. Overall impression: smells like quite a big, rich beer. On the palate, we got a complex blend of moderate sweetness and balancing bitterness, with a minor acidity. A muted funkiness of a farmhouse lilt keeps it rustic within the larger context of balance. Look for notes of orange zest, with the nutty sweetness from the aroma breaking late and holding on into the finish. The bitterness is only moderate, yet contributes toward a very lengthy finish. Overall, this well-carbonated beer showcases a profound balance of malt and hop—truly classic old world beer. But perhaps most notable is the lager-like cleanliness—a result of the ale yeast being fermented at very low temperatures, then cool-conditioned for nearly 10 weeks. For a beer of this caliber and complexity, the refreshing nature is not only impressive, it’s downright dangerous. The label has great suggestions for pairing, and they’re spot on: roast chicken, country sausages (we tried with venison—delicious!), assertively flavored cheeses (our pick was a semi-soft goat cheese, stuffed in mushrooms).
This is a difficult to find beer. While that rarity may tempt you to horde the stuff, should you opt to “garder” your own samples of this beer; we suggest checking in on them over 3-month intervals for no more than a year, as they’ve effectively been pre-aged by the brewery for you. Our proposal is that you serve this one up with numerous meals during these late summer days—and share it with friends whenever possible—especially outdoors where its thirst quenching properties will be best revealed. But do mind that ABV—it’s stronger than it seems!
Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
Alcohol by Volume: 7.8%
Style: Blonde Bière de Garde
Suggested Glassware: Tulip or Oversized Wine Glass