NEWS APRIL/MAY 2019

A DARK MONTH: GUY DERDELINCKX PAST AWAY.

This name may not mean anything to you, but nevertheless in the world of the brewery not only in Belgium but also on the 5 continents, Professor Guy Derdelinckx was an eminent person. He died unexpectedly at the age of 65.

He was a professor at the KULEUVEN where he and the other leading brewer, Freddy Delvaux, were responsible for the “Malting Brewery Chair”. During his long scientific career of nearly 30 years, he trained many future brewing engineers while at the same time making the technical results of the new beer techniques ever more perfect to the point that foreign breweries came to take advice from him. He mastered all the technologies of production and sensory evaluation of special beers, which earned him to be considered one of the world’s leading experts in fermentation invited to speak at the world’s most important congresses. As part of his research, he directed several projects aimed at promoting researchers to the rank of « Doctor of Agricultural Sciences». In 1995 he provided the historical overview of beer making on the occasion of my first book « The classic beers of Belgium » published by Editions Collet. The world of beer loses thus one of its most eminent personalities in its history. Rest in peace my dear Guy, you taught me so much about what became my passion.


BIRTHDAY WEDDING BETWEEN TWO HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD BREWERIES.

The usual formula for a matrimonial union includes the phrase « Do you contribute to take to partner ….. ? ». In this case, it is a matter of the consent of two hundred-year-old breweries which, by mutual agreement decided to bring out a production together. On the one hand the Brasserie Dubuisson, known for its « Bush Beer » for a long time considered as the strongest Belgian beer, who will celebrate its 250th anniversary, and on the other hand the Brouwerij De Brabandere known for its Bavik Pils and its Petrus which will celebrate this year its 125th anniversary. It was this occasion that was chosen to celebrate a productive event together. For the moment both the name and the recipe have remained to secret. However, the dressing of Bush beers has already changed bringing a more modern visual. Is that already a clue for the ceremony? Probably not, because the coupling will leave for each of the 2 breweries a total innovation both by the name, the flavour and of course the dressing. Neither the dress of the beer as much as the trend of the flavour have so far been revealed. It is certain, however, that such a union will result in a grand cru and certainly not in a limited-edition production. We are filled with impatience and I hope we will not be disappointed!


NEW ACQUISITION AT LUXEMBOURG FOR AB INBEV.

Who several years ago, did not see his parents or even grandparents, having a good glass of beer during a holiday or in de province of Luxembourg or even in the Grand Duché, of a « Diekirch » the pils par excellence of the Duché, after a day walk in the hills of Luxembourg? The Grand Duché had quite a few small breweries but all very often offering a result of low fermentation. « Diekirch » was in the lead and thanks to the tourists of the time, mainly Belgians, this beer, excellent apart from that, has cracked a solid reputation. An issue from the Brasserie de Luxembourg Moussel-Diekirch, it has quickly adapted itself to the realities of today’s world and is preparing for the future thanks to its eco-friendly technique. Last fall, the new visual identity for the Diekirch brand was inaugurated. It is a Belgian who sits on the management of this brewery and who during the inaugural ceremony emphasized the deep Luxembourg roots of the brewery founded in 1825. It will nevertheless appear in the portfolio of the AB INBEV group, which will obviously guarantee a future more than interesting!


THE DELIRIUM BOURBON BARREL AGED, ATTENTION CAUTION!

The Gent brewery with the pink elephant, renowned for its character beers and relatively high in terms of its alcoholic degrees, has just released its new brewery top. Presented at the recent Horeca Expo of Gent in November 2018, it has immediately marked its tasty footprint, to the privileged few who could taste it. From the top of its 12% alc. vol. however it is hidden behind a soft and mellow sensation, in order to appear accessible to a wide audience. In fact, it are the warned connoisseurs who will appreciate it best, because it has 3 distinct characters, mainly a whisky approach, quite pronounced relayed to the palate with a tamed bitterness (20 EBU), to end on a feeling of well-being perfectly balanced, round and severe at the same time. On its first sip, it seems to present itself as an innocuous but tricky beer. Indeed, its alcoholic effects play their role perfectly and require from the consumer, all the reserves of us in order not to see too fast the parade of pink elephants. It can ideally be consumed as a chaser with chocolate or cheese. I recommend less salting products because salts attenuate all the tricks of this famous beer in the making! For the moment it is only available in cask version but on June 1st it will be available in bottle (75 cl most obviously)!


THE DEVIL INSIDE!

The brewer of the Duvel Moortgat never stops surprising us, especially with its Triple Hop range. After the phenomenal success of the Citra version, the hopped inspiration does not stop. For this seventh version, the brewer, still very inspired, after already more than the original brews, has this time appealed to a new trick using the hop « Cashmere » rather rare but having a surprising effect. As a reminder, previous versions had used types of hops rarely or never used, such as Amarillo, Japanese Sorachi Ace, Mosaïc, Equinox and the most mysterious but never defined HBC291. Here is the 2019 version with a well-targeted hop, the Cashmere, used during its dry-hopping phase i.e. added during the brewing cooling phase. It is a partner in the introduction of 2 other hops in traditional hopping, the Saaz and the Styrian Golding with a well-planted but nevertheless traditional character for strong blondes. The partnership of the Cashmere brings a deeper character (40 EBU) without being able to qualify it as an IPA. On the other hand, its alcohol level of 9,5% is well above a traditional Duvel. It will be the signature of the Moortgat brewer with this insatiable inspiration bringing with this new hop a sharper touch still raising the citrus nose as well as a surprising finish that will pleasantly surprise the Duvel fanatics. You’ll meet peach, melon and …. flesh of tropical coconut, unsweetened, bringing it a particular freshness while developing a relaxing tasting, not in tongue but essentially in its final. Of course, like all «Triple Duvel», it is produced in limited version but enough for a majority of beer lovers to be able to discover it. Not to enjoy it in the best conditions, either fresh and in its typical glass to the mark, would be a venial sin. When you are told that with the Duvel Cashmere, the paradise is well on earth, one certainly does not lie to you! Thank you, sweet Jesus!


A GULDEN DRAAK IMPERIAL STOUT.

Definitely, brewers have the wind in the sails especially when it comes to strong beers. In 2017 and 2018, the focus was on « oak age », however, there was also renewed interest in the stout category, which has reached its peak during the late sixties, with the wave of English pubs. Generally; this beer is moderately alcoholic. It has been enriched with a more pronounced touch, favouring a warmer character via a more controlled liquorice during its longer maturation, usually in oak casks. The most recent production comes from the brouwerij Van Steenberge in its Gulden Draak range, in the configuration of an imperial stout (12%). Of course, the tasty characteristics of the stout can be found there but also leave a preponderant place on the nose, first releasing a very ripe (unsweetened) banana aroma, while its conclusion releases bittersweet results of its prolonged stay in barrels of old oaks. The final formula impresses as for a good old Burgundy wine and suggests an accompaniment of a character cheese.

 

 

Cheers.

Christian DEGLAS.