Every month, Belgibeer features a different craft brewery, sending freshly brewed beers together with glassware, beers mats, stickers, posters and anything available on site.
The box arrived very well packed, with each individual bottle bubble-wrapped and in cardboard sleeves to avoid breakage.
May’s BelgiBeer box features beers from D’Oude Maalderij, a brewery and bar located in Izegem, West Flanders. The Brewery is really the reflection of one man’s hard work and passion – Jef Pirens, who is (impressively) the owner, sales director, principal and sole brewer at D’Oude Maalderij.
TIP: This box ships to Europe. If you’re looking for a US beer club, try checking out all the beer subscriptions!
Here is everything in this month’s box: 2 bottles each of Redenaar, Hop The Brewer, Farang Thai Style Tripel and Deo, plus 4 beer mats and a Belgibeer magazine.
Golden Hops is a new magazine produced by the BelgiBeer team. In addition to the usual tasting notes, and a fun little quiz about Trappist beer, this month’s issue of Golden Hops includes an interview with 35 year old Jef. Along with brewing 7 days a week, he is a collector of vintage beers and has nearly 2,500 in his cellar – all available for sale in the bar!
And now, onto the beer:
Redenaar (6.5% abv) is a Belgian blonde ale that is unpasteurized, non-sterilized and unfiltered. It has a lovely golden colour and is fairly hazy. The tasting notes list an aroma of citrus and lemongrass, but I mostly picked up on flowery hops. The mouthfeel is the lightest of the beers but still very smooth. It has a hoppy, sweet flavour and a light bitterness in the finish. Despite boasting six different types of malts and three varieties of hops, this is a very mild-mannered beer – slightly fruity and sweet and very drinkable. I liked it, perfect for a summers day.
Hop The Brewer (6.5% abv) is an IPA brewed with five different types of malts and three Belgian hops form the Poperinge region (the world hops capital). The branding is pretty unmistakeable – clearly calling to mind the cartoon Bob the Builder. Maybe it’s not the most appropriate branding in the world for an alcoholic beverage but, well, I think it’s pretty cute! This IPA is hazy with a warm, golden amber colour and hoppy aroma. The drinking is smooth and luxuriously full-bodied. It feels great on the palate. There is a light fruitiness to the taste and a lasting bitter finish (IBU 57). I enjoyed this brew quite a bit. I found the flavours of sweet and bitter to be very well-balanced, with neither one overwhelming the other. This is a refreshing and easy to drink beer.
Farang Thai Style Tripel (8% abv) is the first beer of its kind. It combines fresh cut galanga and pepper with lots of malts and Begian hops in a meeting of East and West. It is a gorgeous hazy orange with a yeasty and spicy aroma- almost gingery from the galanga. It has a silky smooth mouth-feel. The flavour of the galanga is very distinct giving the beer just a bit of heat and with a nice bitter finish. This is definitely a unique and enjoyable beer. I can see how it would pair perfectly with a fragrant Thai dish.
Deo (4.8% ABV) is part of the ‘Deo, Optimo, Maximo’ range. That’s D.O.M., as in brewery D’Oude Maalderij and a reference to the Christian-Latin phrase meaning ‘to God very good, very great’. Each beer is a different shade of black: Deo is a Porter, Optimo a Stout and Maximo an Imperial Stout. Deo is a dark ebony colour with a coffee-coloured foam. The beer has a strong aroma of coffee and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is smooth but lighter than I expected, considering the formidable colour. The coffee flavour really comes through in the tasting, as well as a hint of spice and a little bit of bitterness at the end of the palate.
I particularly liked how all of this months’ beers had a great mouthfeel. There’s nothing worse than a watery beer, and I thought each of these were substantial and smooth. The Farang was easily my favourite thanks to its distinctive flavour, but I thoroughly enjoyed trying each of the beers from D’Oude Maalderij.