Belgium’s Brut beers: Champagne-style

Published on December 13, 2013.

Gert Christiaens, blender/owner, Geuzestekerij Oud Beersel.

Gert Christiaens, blender/owner, Geuzestekerij Oud Beersel.

c. Oud Beersel

Gert Christiaens, owner of Oud Beersel, started cooperating with a Limburg winemaker and wine club, Domus Ad Fontes, who are making sparkling wine. He provides them with his beer, and they perform the “method champenoise”.

(Note from DrinkBelgianBeer.com: here is an article about the origin of the Bzart beers from last year.)

Foeders at Oud Beersel.

Foeders at Oud Beersel.

Bzart Lambiek, a Brut beer.

Bzart Lambiek, a Brut beer.

There are now 4 beers, each with a different Oud Beersel beer as the basis
• Oud Beersel bzart-Lambic
• Oud Beersel bzart-Oude Geuze
• Oud Beersel bzart-Kriekenlambiek
• Oud Beersel bzart-Oude Kriek
It is difficult to get the exact alcohol level of these beers, as the outcome dares change. Recent versions I have seen hover around 8 ° ABV.

Bzart Oude Geuze.

Bzart Oude Geuze.

Bzart Lambic beer label.

Bzart Lambic beer label.

Bzart Kriekenlambiek.

Bzart Kriekenlambiek.

bzart back label, form batch 1 in 2012.

bzart back label, form batch 1 in 2012.

d. Damejeanne

Patrick Theunissen from Antwerp is performing the “méthode champenoise” on someone else’s beer. He launched Damejeanne, the basis of which had to be a beer from Boelens. However, the Boelens beer was not ready, and so Patrick used a beer from Den Triest (Marc Struyf) to “champagnify”. This is the luxury version of what is now also launched as the Den Triest Smoel Brut d’Anvers.

4. Conclusion

Belgian brewers were the first to make champagne beers. Since a few years brewers from other countries have copied this approach.

Champagne beers are hard to make, and take a lot of time, hence those Belgian beers are expensive. However, they are fantastic for any occasion like X-Mas, New Year, Thanksgiving, etc. You can savor them as an aperitif, dessert or digestif. And similarly to champagne, they are perfect for food pairing.

Enjoy the festivities in a bubbly fashion. Cheers from Belgium.
Carl Kins can be reached at: ceclkins AT yahoo.com

The beers of Malheur/De Landtsheer are imported into the U.S. by Belukus Imports of Austin, Texas. Brad Batson of Belukus had this to day: “Both Malheur Brut and Malheur Dark Brut are exquisite beers. We are determined to keep sampling these beers as the consumer continues to find the shelf price challenging. We are certain that once they try these beers that they will fall in love with them, just as we have!”

The Bzart Brut beers are imported into the U.S. by Vanberg and DeWulf Importers of Cooperstown, N.Y. Don Feinberg of Vanberg & DeWulf told me at press time: “For me, Bzart is simply the most elegant Gueuze I have ever had. Is it super funky or sour? Definitely Not! But well balanced, bone dry and refined, without doubt.” He added: “In fact, French writer Victor Hugo called gueuze ‘The Champagne of the North.’ I think Bzart is the truest example of that description.”

The beers of Brouwerij Bosteels are imported into the U.S. by Artisanal Imports of Austin, Texas. Lanny Hoff of Artisanal Imports had this to say about DeuS: “We are proud to offer DeuS in the US. With it’s two-stage production (fermentation in Belgium, riddling in France) there is no other beer like it. DeuS takes over a year to make—no other offering in this category has such a meticulous, time-consuming method of production.”

(Disclaimer from DrinkBelgianBeer.com: the information, opinions, and views expressed in this article are those of Carl Kins, and are not necessarily shared by, or endorsed by, this website, or its owner.)

Sorry about the legal stuff, but you know how it is these days.

Here’s Carl’ full bio:

Judge experience*: World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival since 2004, Champion Beer of Britain since 2005, Birra dell’Anno (Italy) since 2006, Mondial de la Bière (Canada) in 2009, regular judge at Saaz Hop Festival (Czech Republic), Staatsmeisterschaft (Austria), European Beer Star (Germany), etc.

Beer experience:
My fascination for beer started at an early age. Especially, Belgium’s beer range and breadth of aromas and flavors attracted me. Since then, the passion has continued to grow and has led me to read and learn a lot about the history of making beer, the process of making it, and the ingredients used. Beer has brought me to many countries and hundreds of breweries and brewpubs, with particular focus on world renowned traditional beer countries Belgium, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom and less upcoming beer countries such as USA and Italy. This has made it clear to me that the world of beer is ever changing and expanding, whereby the new producing “kids on the block” are ensuring sufficient choice for the consumer, continued innovation, combined with local embeddedness through e.g. the use of local ingredients and local sales. Clearly, the beer world is fascinating. That is why I like to share my thoughts and opinions in beer magazines in Belgium, Italy and USA and as a member of the Executive of the European Beer Consumers Union, representing 13 national organizations with more than 170 000 members combined.

 

Antoine and Ivo Bosteels outside their brewhouse in Buggenhout.

Antoine and Ivo Bosteels outside their brewhouse in Buggenhout.

The bar at Malheur (De Landtsheer.)

The bar at Malheur (De Landtsheer.)

The brewhouse at Malheur/De Landtsheer.

The brewhouse at Malheur/De Landtsheer.

Brouwerij De Landtsheer (Malheur.)

Brouwerij De Landtsheer (Malheur.)

Malheur Brut in a rack, Brouwerij De Landtsheer.

Malheur Brut in a rack, Brouwerij De Landtsheer.


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