News Christian Deglas - SEPTEMBER 2017.

“If you do not go towards the beer, it is the beer which will come to you !” Here is the proverb which would be advisable to apply to this column of September.
Indeed, in the course of kilometers engendered throughout 2 months summer, my reflex was to go to brewing distributors or hypermarkets of the various crossed countries. It is at the same time my hop passion which pushed me there, to complete my curiosity, as well as this desire to discover this inexhaustible creative spirit which enjoy the European brewers opting for specific techniques, and calling up to the use of gustatory ingredients at least unpublished and sometimes surprising.

Nevertheless, a first more economic information deserved to be mentioned. Indeed the big Danish brewery Carlsberg, these months little in decline from the point of view of the exports; because of the Russian blockade on the products of the European Union, saw its business figure increasing thanks to the intervention of the Belgian and associated brewing group Grimbergen. The result is very positive, to even present an increase of 2% to the provisional balance. Indeed, the Danes so announce a figure of 4,3 milliard Euro turnover. Cees 't Hart, the person in charge of the mark Carlsberg is satisfied, all the more still, the forecasts for the full year 2017, the debt off the loss of income could be largely filled. This positive consequence will so allow Belgium to find maybe on its market one of the jewels of the Danish brewery the “Carlsberg Elephant” (7,5%) of which you will find below my personal short story.

It calls back very good student memories raising to my years in the sixties, period in the course of which we skimmed beer mugs as water! However, the conclusion of this university trips, ended traditionally at the small hours by a good soup and often also by a “Carlsberg Elephant”. The peculiarity of this magnificent beer of low fermentation was to offer a bouquet of freshness, a bitterness of character without the specificities of the sourness of a conventional pils. Its leading imprint was to offer a malted scent coated with an alcoholic net sobering up our bucolic state to give way to a return on 2 feet. Of these memories of student's drinking bouts, stayed only the good conclusions of less conventional beers, already reminding the beginnings that a beer brewed with know-how must be enjoyed with wisdom. We shall thus estimate all the more the return of the Carlsberg Elephant, which allows to classify it among one of the likely better beers of the world!

The fathers of the Abbey of Rochefort have just taken an important position by deciding that for the first time in 100 years, the Cistercian institution of the brewery, established as non-profit, would contribute from now on to its participation of the acquittal of a tax on the turnover of the sales of its beers. They so join the abbeys colleagues who for the most part already are established as Limited company. The last year the abbey of Rochefort engendered a 6,8 million Euro profit. Let us call back that the sale of their beers contributes mainly to the maintenance of the monastery and especially to charity aids.


The beer of Berlin survives well beyond its sad wall history. Its delicious tradition crosses easily the years while bringing it its innovative touches. The white of Berlin is about 150 years old. Indeed it was born in 1872. It was the result of a high fermentation, the yeast of which reacted badly, bringing it an involuntary acidity. It was appreciated because this defect distinguished it from German pils from that period. The brewery Berliner so brought it different, in particular fruity gustative touches to appear under distinctive colored, sometimes original dresses as the green version including a chlorophyll as well as a touch of lime and sweet woodruff. However the initial version held the head offering anyhow nowadays an overrated acidity not anymore due to an infection of yeast but well thanks to the generous touches of lemon. And nevertheless it so supports other secrets as the wheat malt or the coriander. In addition it harmonizes very well with cocktails of more bitter beers and even dark versions. To discover with beforehand an informative luggage, behind the old wall.

The Mediterranean sea resort traditionally used to see wandering syrupy blonds in any kinds, observes this time another type, not the one that we imagine. Indeed, this sparkling blond in the graceful headgear in the form of a plentiful foam and fitted in a matched clear dress perfumed in the touches of citrus fruits has just known a very beautiful popular success. « La bière blonde de Saint-Tropez» (5,6%) was sponsored by a Belgian brewery of Hainaut Occidental, the peculiarity of which is to be established in a region where groundwaters are rich in minerals mainly in calcium and magnesium, whereas they are poor in nitrates. Add to it the know-how of one of the brewers, the most talented of his generation and you obtain a very sophisticated beer ready to meet the requirements of the very numerous worldliness favoring Saint-Tropez as beach of « must be » of the star mania! This blond does not strip off so easily because its composition is not simple but however good anchored by tradition, in particular by appealing to base materials which have already sacred grand crus. Appeal was made to the best tinted malts of Europe. Its consistency of character is fed of 3 hops, the one stemming from he deep lands of Central Europe and 2 others coming from the USA. As for its process of fermentation, it results from an origin of yeast specially finalized in the laboratories of the University of Louvain-la-Neuve. Adorned with all these ingredients of exception, it can only end in a sublime result offering a nose of citrus fruits thanks to its hops of class. Naturally its flavor reminds this specificity sometimes mandarin, sometimes grapefruit, apricot or lime, so giving it a good length. Served in its elegant glass on foot it will know how to show itself deserving as a beer which should benefit from the very high-ended interest of the illustrious residents of Saint-Tropez.







The far north of Germany situated partially along the North Sea, and more extreme still along the border of the Baltic Sea, possesses a profile calling back a little the Belgian coast. The same goes for its gastronomic specialties. It is in the small sea resort of Stralsund that I discovered them. Indeed, if seafoods honor the table, the accompaniments of the dishes are rather different. Also country of beers, the Germans have the merit to give them a more consequent presence at the table. Which was my surprise in the north of Rostock, to see me suggesting a black beer close to the stout. The latter however arises from a double fermentation of which the second added by whiskey malts. According to the maître d'hôtel, it was one of the « musts » for the accompaniment of sea mussels. Here I am thus to commit in a gastronomic discovery which at first sight could look catastrophic on the flavor plan. To the contrary, the proposed beer « Störtbeker » (7,5%) turns out really fabulous for this type of meal. Consisted of its various roasted malts and its whiskey malt, it can be compared with a traditional stout with however a less licorice sharpness than that accompanying this category of beers. It releases a smoked nose accompanied from its introduction of a light hot pepper on the tongue and so leaves the freedom with the bright factors of the preparation of mussels, all the leisure to become deliciously emancipated. With a zest of lime, your meal will take almost a magic form. Regrettably, this beer with the well anchored character but in an elegant way, is still not available in Belgium, if it is not maybe in bordering hypermarkets in the East Cantons.

Before returning again towards Belgium, I wanted to test a product which I had found attractive by its presentation and its esthetics's. It is a beer can in 1 liter format. His quite devastating look by its dominant black color and red label was rather convincing to acquire it, all the more that its alcohol volume of 10% was highlighted. On the other hand, the fact that it emanated from a Danish brewery « Faxe Brewery Denmark », country of tradition of low fermentation could only incite to discover it. Thus it was made, but in the course of the evening, by caution, because you should not take the road anymore. Surprise, the pretty sparkling, blond beer, overhung by a generous white foam, called back a pils. However its rather bitter and characterful nose puts you immediately in confidence. And however, it is to the taste that the surprise is considerable, because in fact, it generates more than an impression of already drunk in Belgium. It was thus necessary to deepen the written information of its packaging, which informs about the authenticity of the product, its membership in the group Royal Unibrew. From then on the answer was found. I had to deal with the deceased « TAURO » of the Belgian sector, the pils with high volume proposed in the range Jupiler a few years ago. It was from then on as a flame which went out immediately, especially as its strongly bitter but malted flavor also demoralizes the desire to finish it rather fast. I did not consider it any more as a beer to be tasted but somewhat as a drink to get inebriate. Disappointing by its taste and only attractive by its look, it was without regret that I left early towards Belgium, my real beer paradise, pressed to find my national beverages and all the ingenuity of our brewers.

Rest in the “casa familia” rich in classic and unpublished beers, and nevertheless before approaching the last kilometers, a small break rest in the province of Namur was more careful after the long return kilometers. At the height of a small picturesque village outside any intense traffic, not far from Philippeville, on a small terrace in the sun, assigned to a rustic building of time, waiting only for the walkers coming out of the “Parc Naturel Régional des Ardennes”. By reading the wall table with the proposed beers, figured a beer with a rather nice name of « Mam’zelle Bibiche ». Well or, goes for this kind “booze”. In reality it is a local product reminding that the hinds of the wood are hardly never far away to the point that they do not hesitate to show themselves sometimes affectionate by approaching in confidence the habitations. From then on the idea of 2 young beer amateurs, Jimmy Halleux and Pierre Campion,the latter having already to his credit  « La Trompeuse » (in Hainaut Occidental), to put at the disposal of the pedestrian tourists, this beer very nice but not divested of character. It shows a modest 7% but presents a very real character reminding that the rural inhabitants of this region, not so distant from forests of Gaume have a character certainly very welcoming, but also well dipped. The bitterness is dominant dry whereas the nose moves forward a light vanilla material. Its conclusion is long and also gives the impression of hiding a natural secret of manufacturing stemming from dense forests of the region. Hops and malts are produced in the edge of the brewery. As far as I am concerned, I felt no presence of spices. But in any case, it is a question of one great success giving to the beer its real sense. This charming production asks very certainly for e next new visit, this time going deeper into with a more enriched report in this column.









Cheers !