22 rue de Wormhout
Tél-fax : 03 28 62 88 44
Preface: As you can see by the address of this brewery, it is not in the Caribbean. The choice of a French beer is simply by chance. Yesterday I happened to notice it sitting on the shelf of a Whole Foods market in Manhattan and could not resist trying it. It retails for $11.04(US).
Description on US bottle label:
“Daniel Thiriez’s rustic little brick-and-beam brewery graces the village of Esquelbecq, plunk in the middle of the rolling farm country of French Flanders. With a brewing degree from a Belgian university, and decidedly ‘Belgian-oriented,’ Monsieur Thiriez makes ales with an earthy, slightly wild character that recalls the early days of farmhouse brewing, before there was a border between France and Belgium. The delicate spicy champagne aromas of this thirst-quenching blonde beauty are quickly followed by a bracing rush of whole fresh hops.”
The following are my tasting notes:
Appearance: This seems to be a “bottle conditioned” ale with residual yeast on the bottom of the bottle. The careful pour, as seen above, was done in wine glasses to make it easier to sense the various aromatics and flavors. The brew poured as a rather opaque orange very effervescent liquid topped with a thick head of foam like consistency rather than a frothy head. Whether the fault of the glass, or the brewer, there was no Belgian Lace.
Aroma: There were hints of cider and sparkling wine. (It was a similar aroma to the French sparkling wine crement.) The sparkling wine sensations continued through the lip-to-sip.
Mouth feel: A hefty touch of carbonation and creamy mouth feel to the beer was not unpleasant.
Flavor: The vinous flavors fought futilely with what hops were used and ceded the flavor profile to the hops which almost immediately dissipated.
Finish: A crisp and rather dry finish left some residual apple and grapefruit sensations.
First of all, for a “farmhouse” brew this was more “suburban split level”… The 250 ml format begged not to be sampled some morning and then poured down the drain as a “sample” beer. (These tasting notes are usually done in the morning when my taste buds are most excitable, before a day of tasting various and sundry have them confused.)
The answer to that was to taste it at a favorite restaurant of mine (Bar Tabac) where the staff is from various parts of France. Their participation was willing and their observations candid. In short, it was deemed a tasty beer with a bit of a wine sensations to it.
The consensus was that this is a fine beverage to serve with veal escallops in mushroom sauce, thin green beans and mashed potatoes.
The Brewery: http://brasseriethiriez.ifrance.com/
What others say: