News Christian Deglas - SEPTEMBER 2017.


The next-to-last of the year is for ages the symbol of the harvest of the female flowers of the hop. The Flemish region of Poperinge in the northwest of Belgium, Is at the moment in full excitement, because it is a question of going fast to pick the highlight that offers us the huge feet plants of hops sprinkled along sorts of telegraph poles. Indeed, planted little before winter, the hop needs nine month, as during the pregnancies of the women, to reach their stage of maturity from September on. This plant of the category of « Cannabinaceae » includes 2 types: the « cumulus Lucullus » (wolf plant) and the hennep (usually also called the cannabis). Certain properties are similar to each ones, as the sensation of relaxation, but the hop possesses however more specific tasks as antiseptic, peculiarity that the monks have discovered to cleanse the water become undrinkable during the big epidemics of plague and cholera in the Middle Ages. Its other peculiarity is the lupuline which is only present on the female plants. It is a sort of pollen which added to the brewing, bring this bitter flavor; This one differs according to the types of used hops.
At the end of the gathering period, it is of tradition in the producing regions, to celebrate the harvest properly, by tasting important hectoliters of beer. These are the feasts of October. It is to notice that certain fields of hop are still not picked at the end of September, only because certain plants had late flowers. We shall compare this with a late harvest of grapes.
The most symbolic of the feasts is the one taking place in Munich in Germany, where each year there are records of assistance turning around 7.000.000 visitors consuming about 10 million liters of beer.
Its equivalent in Belgium took place from the 1950s until 1986 in Wieze. It was organized on the initiative of the Brewery Van Roy situated in the region of Aalst. It was with the launch of his pils, that the brewer organized his feast, which although not showing the same statistics as Munich, attracted however several thousand people to taste near a million liters.
Today this tradition of October develops almost everywhere in Belgium, at the 2 sides of the linguistic frontier. It is also the symbol proving that Belgium remains a united country and shows itself proud of its beers. These are present in the everyday life of the Belgian for what reason ever. It has just been recognized by the UNESCO as « Intangible Heritage».
However even if the beer flows in October, this month is not either inevitably convenient for the novelties because the brews with the new hops must be made again and beers have a period of guarding to undergo.



And nevertheless, new beers are born all year round. The new small brewery « Eaux Vives » of which we had evoked last month« Mam’Zelle Bibiche », a beer in the blond dress, takes out now a new production baptized « MONSIEUR MOUCHE » (8,5%). It appears under a purple color and endowed with a very complex but very fast charming flavor. The brewer does not hesitate to inform that the recipe contains certain spices, what is far from being a prejudice by numerous young brewers. In this particular case this beer in homage to the surname of the partner of the brewer, is to be taken at once very seriously. Under an apparently modest nose, develops an immediately strong character flavor and with variations by stages. The highlight of a bitterness is not in order of business, in spite of the sensation of a strengthen trend and smoked by the wooden bark. Malts used including the wheat which participates in its recipe, remind me somewhere a soft chicory which we find in certain characterful red wines of middle age. Its conclusion opens all the advances, whether it is the character of an unsweetened grape even sprinkled with nutmeg so concealing some coriander. It stays of the domain of my palate, held by the spine in the bottom of the tongue announcing the long conclusion of a very successful beer, which suggests at once as a brew to take very serious being able to end in the shelfs of big new classic beers. Of high fermentation and non filtered, it should still improve with a few weeks of cellar. A beer which should do well fast foam in its glass!

LEADER MARTIN’S IPA 55 ! (vol. alc. 6,5%)

This real nugget of bitter flavors conjugates with 3 marvels of what an IPA offers the best. Visually, its golden dress topped with a steady generous white foam sustained by convincing bubbles, opens the desire to approach it in confidence. Already that it seduces freshly the nose by citrus fruit aromas combined with hopped flowers. Its bitter flavor extends in an elegant way but instantly asserted to the palate. It justifies its status of character beer without any agression. Even quite the opposite, its bitterness is the result of its junction with 5 of the best hops in the world, as the Kent Golding or the Extra Styrian Dana, but especially the Cascade and the Citra during the phase of dry hopping. It posts a 55 IBU on the scale of bitterness, but consolidates this upscaled position as a reference beer in this category. It really symbolizes what has to be the taste of a real beer in its most delicious reality.


By adding to it the version « Christmas » (7%), the « Tongerlo » forms a quartet, the « Blond » (6%), the « Brown » (6,5%), and the « Prior » (9%). Besides a new dressing of labels, it is also the designation which saw undergoing a new name, at least for 3 of them. Indeed, the blond version was baptized « LUX » with reference to the brightness of the light, « NOX », the night in Latin evoking logically the dark version, and « PAX » for the Christmas, so making a reference to the proverb « Peace to the men of good will! ». Very fortunately their flavors do not change although the new dressing seems to bring them more character mainly in their phase of conclusion. It would be possible whether it is only a psychological effect, but nevertheless, this makeover gives them a better visibility, as the label is purer and clearly simpler than initially. Additional reason in this impression, also emanates from the effect which gets the new glass from now on less stiff on its parois and more widened on its drinking edge, but still on foot. Beers seem to be more brilliant and coll for a more thorough tasting, attracting his customer to more attention to the nose, to the shine and to the pearl. These “new” Tongerlo puts itself already gradually in the front window so that the implementation is complete at the time of Christmas and new Year holidays.



After the success of the previous 2 editions of the versions « Botanical Lambics », the brewery Lindemans proposes this time a new version of the assembly of its lambics. It is the ginger which will be for the year 2017, the partner of this union. It is about the cutting of lambics from 1 to 3 years old, matured in oak barrels and enriched with the fresh Thai ginger. Its dress is close to its simple and traditional version, however, it is very understandable that with the additive of its supplementary ingredient, its flavor is different. It balances between the freshness and sourish of the lambic but the aroma of which is pronounced enough by lemon because of the presence of the Thai ginger. Its delicious tones are so favored by elements freeing diverse acidities, the one rather bitter and the other one fruity. It invites itself so naturally in the timing of aperitifs, awakening wild one appetite, just like showing itself a very effective digestive.
This version the production of which is limited is only available in version 75 cl in silk-screened bottles but defining their year only in the color of the impressions supplied on the writing of these. Available in Belgium, it will have also, and it is very understandable, an important quota reserved for the Asian countries.


It is obvious that the 2 authors, Jean-Luc Bodeux and Thomas Costenoble, of this magnificent just as much as necessary work, arrive just at the right moment. Everybody realizes that the beer in Belgium answers a more and more important demand. It also responds the consumer, to the need for identity as in search of a small, too less mentioned heritage. The appearance of micro breweries is there only the most exact of the statements. Numerous are the local beers to have learned us on a region, its folklore, its characters, its short history, its dialects, and still more and not the slightest.
This phenomenon also engendered the economic development of a sector which was languishing resulting so directly in the creation of a multitude of new jobs.
Wallonia encodes 110 breweries in activity, where it is necessary to add those who qualify themselves unfairly as brewer because in reality their beers are brewed somewhere else. The authors, Jean-Luc Bodeux and Thomas Costenoble, are perfect connoisseurs in the brewing world, the first named by not being in his first attempt through several works as well as his articles in the Belgian daily paper, « Le Soir », whereas the second, although emanating from the wine producing world, is for the initiative of the international competition for beers with the setting up since 2012 of the « Brussels Beer Challenge » a competition appearing to the rank of the references with the brewers of the whole world today.
The two whise guys were divided the tasks, the one exploring the provinces of Liège, Namur and Luxembourg, the other one traveling relentlessly Hainaut as well as Brabant Wallon. The photographer, as for him, Noé David, assured all the necessary photos for a perfectly documented work. The material was so plentiful that the publisher, Weyrich Édition, proposes the result in 2 volumes.
Once plunged into the reading of those books, we can only stand out from it with difficulty because from A to Z, you will know absolutely everything of these sacred brewers, endowed with an overflowing imagination through sometimes surprising recipes which will put you … the beer in the mouth.
A masterpiece whom nobody can allow not to buy, so much it is rich and complete on everything you need to know about these brewing treasures and the History which accompany them.
It is very likely that very soon the books will also come out in Dutch and English version.


As you and I, on the eve of the winter, we renew a little our wardrobe with the aim of the intense cold announce during this hard season. It is a little bit similar with the brewers, who take advantage of it to cheer up the dressing of their bottles. The brewery Haacht did it even in a spectacular way. On the side of Silly, the Vanderhaegen family opted for a new look on the whole range. The general note of the style is more modest in design but it emerges that more neatness from it as for the informations which are mentioned in the label. This new suit will also have the advantage to be any season, allowing the customers, the easier familiarization especially in the range of « Silly » Rouge, Sour, Blanche, Divine, Saison, Scotch, Pils, Bio Pils and Super 64. The Triple Swaf (8%) should even attract a little more attention, calling back by this new label, the strong beers of our grandparents.