News Christian Deglas - NEWS JULY AUGUST 2017.

BREWING READINGS.

The summer on the terrace, on the beach, in the garden or in its lounge armchair, is not only the relaxation by tasting a good fresh beer. It also brighten up good readings! And for you, dear readers fervently carried towards the thirst to always know more about the brewing world, here are 2 new publications which will interest you.


CANS & HEAT WAVES !

If the spring of 2017 was rather gloomy and cold, we can notice on the other hand that the summer rang before the hour, with a very generous sun as well as temperatures over the averages of season. Very fast, Belgium took back taste in the pleasures of terraces as well as in the tendency on the return towards beer cans. These even widened their varieties thanks to new recipes, sometimes completely without warning for certain categories where we never expected them. Often banished by the beer purists, the can, thanks to the generous rays of sunshine, succeeded in regaining prestige by increasing even new amateurs. Too long, the beer can is considered to contain only thirst-quenching beers, and involved only brews of productions of low fermentation, like pils but also some fruity. They did not enjoy either a good reputation because its clients also possessed an image of “drunkards”. What from now on is not any more really the case. We shall however point out with the client, that once consumed it would rather be very correct not to throw cans simply on public highways and in the nature. The beer is deserved but it is necessary to prove it by this simple and ecologic gesture.

For this double press review, we traveled the most objectively possible, this very specific market.


COLONEL ARCH (6%) AT ITS COMMAND !

It indicates a method of American style brew,what is implying one more time a bitter character. In spite of actually pronounced bitterness (50 EBU), as very often all the US productions, it also aligns its softer and more malted parts. Its image rather reminds me to an owl, giving it some rank and respect. Its severity is a little as an iron fist in a velvet glove. It calls on to a very particular and still too much underestimated hop but nevertheless already considered for its delicious tolerance with its partners of recipe. To open the can of 50 cl will allow you to find the time to appreciate its qualities which seems to postpone in the course of swallows. It possesses excellent easily digestible qualities, which give it assets to accompany a barbecue of red meat and fish


POLARIUS HIGH IN TASTE BUT OF LOW FERMENTATION

Its name reveals the preference of its star hop, the Polaris. However it is accompanied with a more conventional partner as « Hallertau Mittelfrüh ». The latter assists it to reach a closer taste of a premium Belgian lager reminding better the Bavarian and Czech pils. Its flavor is also more malted what balances it more flexibly in spite of a very modest 5%. To describe its succulence, I would compare it with a trampoline jump, and thus repetitive up to her full last drink. It gets intense closer to the classic productions accompanying the conventional BBQ. It tolerates the very spicy accompaniments and from then on it assumes its fireman's role to limit the consequences of burns of spine on the tongue. In progress of tasting, it reveals an attachment and a lot of delicious sympathy.


BLANCHE DE THINES (4,8%) SOIL OF BRABANT WALLON.

Thines is a small village situated in the south of Nivelles in the province Brabant Wallon and is a real agricultural attic. The malt and the wheat grow there generously, where from the reference to this white beer. In can version it keeps all the peculiarities of a traditional white with less acidity as well as a weakening of the coriander. It excels by its thirst-quenching flavor and in this version gets a better sensation of freshness.


CALL ME « GORDON » !

The brewery John Martin has been one of the first ones in Belgium to develop an important range of beer cans. It so produces types of multiple flavors and in different dresses. Blonds, ambers and browns mix for most great pleasure of the brewing tastes. It are also the beers of this range that offer the highest alcoholic percentages, until more than 14% ! Useless to specify that these beverages are not intended for the big thirst but well for the terrace tasting for example on beautiful sunny days. The top of the range includes thus 2 novelties, the «Gordon Finest Carbon 14» (14,1%) presenting a combination of flavors and temperamental strong aromas warning you of its very big seriousness. The bitterness is very present and rolled up by a certain sweetness as a foam at the end of waves of a Scottish sea crashing on the wild cliffs. Drunk freshly, it will gradually reveal in the course of the tasting.

In the same tone of Scottish tradition the « Xplosion Honey Whisky » (9%) associates alcoholic flavors of the key drink of the homeland of the kilt with the nectar of the bees, the honey of which is extremely refined because resulting from coastal flowers lining the Scottish Sea soaked with the salt winds of the big wide. Its careful tasting because of the high tone of alcohol, is still appreciated much farther than its conclusion.


« CHOISIR ET ACHETER SA BIÈRE EN 7 SECONDES » Elisabeth Pierre (Editions Hachette).

As the title indicates, it will no more allow you from now on not to direct you with accuracy, the choice of your beer. Elisabeth Pierre,a Frenchwoman, expert in beers, provides you with all that is necessary to know for your choice of beers. She details for you all the decryption of the beer labels, not to leave you on your thirst and especially let decide you on a determined and well informed choice of your wishes. A well summarized but complete title which will give the impression from now on of not entering at a beer distributor in the naive spirit  and even seeming an expert on the subject. There is just a big choice in brewing material, that this work will still target better your route of purchase and will amaze you at the time of opening your bottle. A complete and necessary work, not to buy any more a beer as a lemonade.


« DE BIERICONEN DER LAGE LANDEN »  Jan Machiel van Bragt and Toon van den Reek (Birdy Publishing).

This beautiful book is rather a gathering of divers stories even biographies, of those who marked beer history with their imprints. It is a very subjective selection you put under the temperament of Dutch people who possesses nevertheless a totally different look on the brewing world. And however, the resultant is very convincing, because it sometimes evokes the anecdotes of certain beers, as those of the brewers who shaped them. How not to forget the fabulous  Pierre Celis's trajectory, the designer of the extremely famous white of HOEGAARDEN. Very richly illustrated with new photos, for the most part taken out of private collections belonging to the brewers, you will understand better that the success of a beer is sometimes connected to a simple fact of life, but permanently keeping everything the imprint of the one who worked on.

At the moment only edited in Dutch, this work will come out at the end of this year in French and probably in English version.


« 13 » CRAFT PILSNER.

Here is one of the latest of the production in can. Its approach is made first of all by the numerous references at which it alludes, question to make already a warned appetizer. It shows a modest 4% alc.vol. but masks numerous assets of which a bitterness of 55 EBU and consisted essentially of Belgian hops. It turns out a guide of relaxation, especially when we conjugate it on the air of a rock’n roll tune! This not pasteurized beer, and thus possessing an additional life, could show itself after a hot summer as a very friendly drink without raising too fast the phase of drunkenness. It tastes however with a lot of attention and comes along with delicious delicatessen.


TORPAH90, HOLIDAYS IN THE BITTER !

A single hop calling on only to one hop, but not whichever. Indeed , its the « CHINOOK » coming of the state of Idaho in the USA that shapes all its bitterness. Chinook is however a high quality hop but the production of which is in a maximal phase, so sometimes difficult to find. « Torpah90 » (6%) rhyming with IPA, shows a 90 EBU on the scale of the bitterness; what let to place it very certainly among the most bitter in Belgium. Curiously, this severity communicates itself to the palate in a very elegant way, without aggressiveness but so revealing the very particular character of its hop. We discover a nose very citrus fruit evoking the grapefruit. It goes without saying that it tastes more easily good iced and in a glass without foot.


GUINNESS DRAUGHT LIKE IN DUBLIN !

You should not inevitably get out of your house and take a plane to Dublin to appreciate a real Guinness on draft. Since a few years the brewery John Martin allows you to dream about the wonderful green spaces of the clovers island and to have a walk in Temple Bar of the capital of the Eire, where enjoyment and good mood are always there. Besides, this version can pull you in the tradition of a real Guinness on tap, pouring vertically in the glass and balancing its foam a little as an Irish coffee, thanks to its internal ball adjusting the flow of release of the beer. It allows to spread gracefully its dark ruby coat and to make raise its foam as an attractive lady who would show you her knee! Besides; its modest degree of alcohol allows you more than a tasting with in every episode the same pleasure to be in front of a real moment of happiness.


CANETTES TO BECOME ?

Let us end by a finding. The evolution of the can is only in its beginnings. It is going to progress in its presentation as in its technical possibilities. It will become a leading product in quality on condition of meeting the criteria of hygiene of its production and only using in its conception metallic materials without any weakness. Contrary to the glass bottle,the stainless material of cans will offer more safety and protection to the consumption. The quality of the flavors will be clearly superior than with synthetic material. The opaque and closed preservation in bowls allow a longer and reassured guarding thanks to a perfect sealing of light and air


THE DUVEL OTHERWISE !

The Duvel lover is certainly a real amateur of beer. He does not grant a lot of tolerance to aberration or fantasy. If he likes the beer, it is because it meets the classic criteria of what we expect from it, that is why its choice went towards Duvel. However its passion was put to a test when the brewer of Breendonk moved forward 2 important upheavals in the evolution of this reference beer for Belgium. Indeed, from now on, this pure marvel of hops, with its so particular glass, in the exclusive dress, accompanied by an exemplary pearl and crowned with a magic foam will be presented from now on in barrels. Naturally, it will not be about a beer simply in the pressure, it will distinguish itself in its own way with more modest volumes every time provided with a new connection for every first slice of a barrel. Additional difficulty and not any, Duvel will be served according to 3 versions of volume, a glass of 15cl, 25cl and 33cl. Besides, contrary to any beer at the moment, it will be served at 4°C to bring it a tasteful severity so bitter, avoiding it a possible softening of the CO2 by the pressure.

Finally last but not least, the consecration. It will group other beerophiles than the Duvel purists. Indeed, just like brewery sisters of the group Moortgat, here is the future indisputable queen of palates., the « DUVEL BARREL AGED » matured in barrels of Bourbon intended to fill at the same time your cellars of an invaluable beverage just like a supreme refinement of the palate. This new production must  be deliciously tamed, but still young at the moment, it already spreads its future assets under 3 close stages which will have to get loose with the age. It so offers a furtively bitter introduction to remind its DNA, relieved by a subtle sweetness of acacia bark and vanilla but especially taken on an aura of a final flavor signed « Bourbon ». This is an exceptional cru but the price (24,99€) of the (numbered) bottle, with limited production of 24.000, seems so extravagant. When you love you don't count the cost (anymore)!

Good holidays to all. Cheers!


CANS COLLECTORS.

Certain brewers, collectors at their hours, found the interesting idea at the same time for them but very fortunately also for the others, to produce their beer in can but while giving to it a particular flavor thanks to the symbol of the name which it represented. Naturally, on the base it is especially the commercial optics which counted, since the demand emanated from people or from groups  known in the media. The first initiatives resulted from the environment of the music and in particular the world of the hard rock. Generally the members who made up these trainings did not neglect their passion for the bottle. However the idea that their fans would gather around the same beer representing their beloved musical group, was very quickly concretised. For lack of the bottle with labels, the idea of sculptural cans overrode, initially for obvious safety reasons, the glass breaking but especially esthetically because the format in box allowed a richer piece while containing a very meaning beer answering the favorite flavors of the musicians of the group. The Americans KISS,  were among the pioneers of this type of marketing, preceded a little previously by the English people of  STATUS QUO. It was then a plead by the other names who followed as ACDC, U2, MOTORHEAD, but not enough in number, so that these cans quite became a real collectors item. Their contents, always beer, are generally little rich in flavors and always of low fermentation. After all it were only collector's items which are only appreciate without consuming them, a little as the mignonettes of liqueurs, whose bottles have some value only if they remain closed and thus not consumed.