Tuesday 1 June 2010

Hopping to Belgium

Back from Belgium and I had some fantastic beers in some fantastic places. I managed to drink a few of the recommendations from last week and IV Saison from Brasserie Jandrain-Jandrenouille was probably my favourite beer from the weekend (or, at least, the beer I’d want to drink most of, most regularly). 1001 Beers tells me that the brewers have day jobs of working for Yakima Chief, the Washington state hop producers, based in the Belgium office, and that sure shows through in this beer – fruity, citrusy, tropical flavours on top of a full and smooth body, with hints of Saison spice and zest, the sort of beer you guzzle down because it’s so delicious and effortlessly drinkable for its 6.5% abv. Sitting inside or outside the excellent Moeder Lambic in Brussels, this beer, poured on draught, is perfect.

A draught Taras Boulba also went down very well after an afternoon spent drinking imperial stouts, quads and lambics. A Valeir Extra followed the IV Saison perfectly with a great whack of US hops, making a Belgian Blonde into something so much more interesting (Belgian Blondes bore me in the same way as Brown Bitters). These three beers, with their liberal use of hops, were exactly the sort of beers I was hoping to find. Another discovery was Hornbeer from Denmark, with fantastic looking bottle (except for their choice of font) and great beer inside, they are one to look out for, particularly their Black Magic Woman and the Imperial IPA. Of course, we also drank a lot of other excellent beers, including visits to De Struise, 3 Fonteinen, Cantillon and the Weekend of Spontaneous Fermentation, but more on those in later posts...


  1. Congratulations! The new Moeder Lambic really is a great place. I'm going tonight, hope they'll have the new 'VI' from Jandrain-Jandrenouille (which is supposed to be an unspiced but well-hopped white beer...). If they don't I'll just have to do with one of the 46 beers they have on tap...

    Did you also try the 'V Cense', by the way?


  2. I bought a bottle of IV Saison while in Gent on the advice of the guy who worked there. I bloody loved it! I then snapped up a bottle of V from Beers of Europe.