« LA PATINETTE » FIRST PASTIS DISTILLED WITH BELGIAN BEER!
Known for its Picon, the first in Belgium, the Amer-Gervin distillery of the Stiévenart family continues the scoops. Indeed, Vincent worthy son of his father, has just presented a first pastis 100% Belgian but distilled on the basis of Belgian beer. Called « La Patinette », a very specific ball-game shot, which involves chasing a piglet ball during a petanque. The hunting ball continues to spin on itself. The result of this distillation is amazing and incredibly successful. With its 45° one can imagine some hints of beer (« Bush blonde »), except that the vapours of this pastis remain 100% those of an ale used for it. Apart from the typical flavour of this traditional Provence aperitif it is distinguished by a dress less yellowish colour than the Provencal version and with a light back tone of hazelnut. For my part, it is much tastier than the original pastis, with a tone of anise better balanced and dedicated to a very beautiful future.
BEST PILS IN BELGIUM?
Last April, the IWD, Brussels oenology school Inter Wine & Dine, organized a competition to determine the best pils in Belgium. The result of the 22 beers registered however surprised me somewhat mainly by the origin of the productions presented. First of all, some pils were advanced by large supermarkets, which are not brewers and therefor call for low fermentation products or custom beers. For example, among the mentioned pils beers the Excel beer from Carrefour stores, the Carapils from Colruyt, the Buval from Aldi, the Delhaize 365 from Delhaize, the Perlenbacher from Lidl, the Kaiser from Carrefour in brief products not brewed on its own site. On the other hand, some of them are not original Belgian like Carlsberg for the premium brand Carlsberg Group, same as for Heineken for the brand « Premium Heineken » being 12 beers out of the 22 presented pils that are not brewed on the premises of their appellation. What also amazed me were the astonishing low scores for accredited brands with a very powerful marketing (Jupiler, Stella Artois, Cristal Alken, Vedett or Maes). Finally and good for these producers, small brands have removed with the highest honours as for the Légia of Liège gold medal, the Polarius of Belgo Sapiens, the Silly Bio for the brasserie de Silly, the Simcoe Lager from the brasserie Sainte-Hélène or still the Ginette (now by Inbev’s portfolio). These results appeal to me because there are many other producers of pils (low fermentation) such as Romy Pils, Bavik Pils, Wieze, etc… This beautiful initiative is all well and good, but it certainly needs to be reviewed with much stricter conditions.
THE ABBAYE DE ROCHEFORT ANNOYED.
The monks of Rochefort, despite their many prayers and the dispute between them and the company Lhoist, exploiting the quarries annexed to the abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy of Rochefort, have had their appeal brought before the Court of First Instance of Marche postponed until the end of this month of June, in order to suspend the intentions of the neighbouring industrial society, to drill the rock adjacent to the source of the abbey. In its decision the court of Marche declares the claim of the monks unfounded. The judgement refers in particular to the very strict conditions laid down by the administration for the deliverance of the permit, as for the limitation of pumping in the time of the La Tridaine source. The monks are very worried as are the unconditional lovers of the reference beers of Cistercian monks. Recall that the abbey produces the Rochefort 6, Rochefort 8 and Rochefort 10 and that a new brewing room capable of producing 80.000 hectolitres has been built. The source of La Tridaine allows the beer to provide this particular taste of Rochefort beers. Unfortunately, once again, we can only note the laxity of our country and its elected representatives, not proud of ancestral traditions and rather concerned with financial interests regardless of the national patrimony!
IN CHIMAY EVERYTHING’S FINE.
Let us stay in the field of Cistercian beers, as Chimay has the wind in its sails in order to satisfy an increasingly pronounced demand for their production. Indeed, the brewery of the Abbaye de Scourmont in Chimay, has just invested 17 million Euros in a new bottling room. It will have a capacity of 55.000 bottles (of 33 cl) per hour, compared to 40.000 before. The latter has been resold in Poland. Note also that out of the respect for the environment and the quietness of the places of prayer, the new 4.000 m2 facility is located a few kilometres from the abbey and is equipped with 1200 solar panels, allowing it a permanent autonomy of its electricity needs. The beer will be even better and without the risk of shortages in its production.