News Christian Deglas - July - August 2018.

BEERS AND CANNABIS!

I reassure you at once, I am not going to entail you towards an artificial paradise, by inciting you to test the plant of cannabis.The reality is that during one of my stays abroad, Spain this time, by looking for an establishment showing a card of interesting beers, I fell on a beer called « THE CANNABIS CLUB SUD » (4,9%). Naturally, specialist of the beer I know that the hop (humulus) and the cannabis are 2 plants of the category of the CANNABACEAE (Latin name). Indeed, in my first book « The Classic Beers of Belgium » (Publ. G.W. Kent Chicago), the eminent professor Guy Derdelinckx, holder of the Pulpit of brewery at the University of Leuven, explains in the glossary the links between the hop and the cannabis. I retained that the lupulin (pollen of the female flower of the hop) and the hemp of the cannabis possess common properties as the contribution of bitterness as well as antiseptic. An example, in the Middle Ages, during the big epidemics, Cistercian monks used the hop to cleanse the water. The English monks also used it to limit the sexual enthusiasm in their community!

Let us return to the beer with cannabis, because finally, it seemed logical to try a brewing combination with the only plant sister of the hop. It was a pleasant surprise, for 2 reasons, because in the reading of the label, ingredients mentioned no presence of cannabis. On the other hand, it presented well a strong character, moving closer to an IPA than to a simple beer. It gave the impression of being deliciously oxygenated to allow its malts to become identified. I admit that it seduced me at the same time by its pleasantly delicious character as by its thirst quenching.

Since the legalization of the use of cannabis in Quebec, several micro brewers put themselves in the production of brews including light doses of cannabis. In Europe, its use is still illegal, but it did not prevent certain French and German brewers (« HEMP ALE » alc. vol. 5% from the German brewery HUMBOLDT) to try the experiment. However, we could very well imagine appellation as for example a beer named « Cannebière » in the region of Marseille! But, still let us not move forward, what are only suppositions today and let us wait for the brewing future with a lot of attention!


LET US STAY IN THE ATMOSPHERE WITH THE « RASTA TROLLS »!

No cannabis, but a lot of tropical flavour with the new production of the brewery Dubuisson in Hainaut Picard in Belgium.

Indeed, the range of the Cuvée des Trolls widened in an unexpected way with a new beer, mainly optimistic for a sunny summer! The « RASTA TROLLS » (7%) becomes known from its name as a beer profiling a hot and optimistic summer. It is the obvious fact from its tasting. It presents its festive arguments from the label on. Its main allies are the brown rum, the green apple added to fruits yellow and white as also the citrus fruits with its colleagues of brew. Its designer also specifies the presence of mint leaves. However, its consumption is advised by the bottleneck, not to be in contrast with tropical beers like « CORONA ». In conclusion, the Rasta Trolls, possesses a big thirst quenching resource but is not allowed to pull towards a major trend of exclusively tropical qualified beers. It possesses Belgian arguments, in flavour bitterness, certainly modest but calling back that the brewery Dubuisson develops its own fields of hop. It aligns also a bitterness appropriate to the peel of lemon, not at whole unpleasant, to the contrary very refreshing and especially very digestive. Finally, the rum displays in second degree and collaborates with the « Trolls » tradition of the other cuvées.


THE BEER IN ALL ITS STATES!

The federation of the Belgian Brewers has just published its annual results for 2017. The figures do not seem very optimistic, because we note a reduction of 1,6 % on the Belgian market, whereas the export increases by 8,7%. According to Jean-Louis Van de Perre, President of the Belgian Brewers, this decrease of the volume of consumption is essentially due to the difficult situation which knows at the moment the Horeca and about a sliding of the consumption of pils for the benefit of special beers. He specifies on the other hand that non-alcoholic beers or at low rates of alcohol (less than 3,5% alc. vol.) represent to them only already 5% of the global consumption.

However, this reduction in the field, is compensated with a very interesting breakthrough from the point of view of the export. On the other hand, the beer widens its place at the tables of restaurants, a domain where the wine was unmistakably master. It also remains the drink traditionally connected to the parties and the mass events. It is also necessary to indicate that the « Bob » campaigns strongly influenced the figures of the consumption.

Fortunately, the range of the Trappist monks strengthens with 17,75% against 13,91% in 2016, just like abbey beers (15,15%). It is similar for regional beers thanks to the development of microbreweries and the need for identity of its consumers. And nevertheless, the brewing sector is in good shape, so allowing the citizens of the beer to be proud of its beers.


FIELDS OF FIRE FROM THE XVth CENTURY IN THE BREWERY OUD BEERSEL.

Situated on the heights of the valley of the Senne, the brewery Oud Beersel overhangs the magnificent castle of the municipality. The History and the brewer taught us the discovery of an act of war having taken place on these lands of which some became recently lands of plantations for real fields of cherry trees of Schaerbeek, so essential to the preparation of the traditional krieks.

Indeed, during the implementation of the fruit trees, the entrepreneur made a rather unique and spectacular discovery. Namely, during the bombardment in 1489 of the municipal castle by the French, the artillery stayed on the spot and in the course of the centuries sank into the grounds of the side of the hill. This unique discovery has just been classified in the municipal patrimony and still more, will make the object, during the visits in the brewery, of an exposition in the museum of the brewery, in which is already a scale model of the fortification. The brewer, Gert Christiaens, is extremely swamped with this unique historic discovery, the visitors of which can appreciate it from now on even while tasting a gueuze, a kriek or a lambic « Oud Beersel »!


BELGIUM CAFÉ IN CHINA.

Jan De Cock (1jandecock@gmail.com) a Belgian, crazy about China, settled down for numerous years in the region of Chengdu (where the pandas are protected) and Dali. At the moment he succeeds in importing some Duvel, but regarding the demand his small establishment overflows customers. He looks now for brewers interested in the export of Belgian beers in China, and also books connected to this matter. I find this a very interesting initiative, especially as Belgium plans to develop more and more breweries over there. In this very populated city (11 million inhabitants) which is nicknamed the « little Pekin », the demand is stronger than what there is available on the market. If, however the curiosity urges you to know a little more about it, do not hesitate to contact Mr. De Cock via the address above.

 

Next column in September with beers stemming from summer fruits and fallen from the trees!


Cheers.

CHRISTIAN DEGLAS.