The box arrived expertly packed, with each individual bottle bubble-wrapped and in cardboard sleeves to avoid breakage.
August’s box features five beers from the Caulier Brewery. Founded in 1933 in the village of Bon-Secour in Hainaut, the brewery has been in the Caulier family for four generations. The beers are made of hops from Poperinge (Western Flanders), barley malts from Malterie du Chateau in Beloeil (Northern France), sugar from local sugar beets, source water from Peruweiz and fresh yeasts, cultivated in the brewery. The non-filtered, non-pasteurised beers are greatly influenced by the environment during production, and beers brewed according to the same recipe will change flavours with the seasons. Although Caulier Brewery keeps to traditional flavours, employees keep innovating, developing a new beer every three months.
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Here is everything in this month’s box: 1 ,33L bottles each of Paix Dieu, Bon Secours Myrtille, Bon Secours Brune, Bon Secours Ambree, Bon Secours Blonde, 1 750mL bottle of Bon Secours Blonde, as well as 2 beer mats, 2 Belgibeer stickers, a magnet/bottle opener and a copy of the Beligibeer magazine Golden Hops.
The handy fridge magnet/bottle opener.
Beer mats and stickers, a familiar sight in Beligbeer boxes.
Belgibeer is still be finding its footing with Golden Hops. This month the magazine’s format has changed to include fewer features. It now includes just brief bits of information about the featured brewery, tasting notes, and a couple teaser paragraphs directing readers to the blog for further info. One cool change is that this issue has all text in three languages (French, German and English), rather than in just English as before.
Okay, now let’s get to the beer!
Paix Dieu (10% abv) is an abbey beer which is brewed just once a month, during a full moon, in keeping with the brewing tradition at the Paix Dieu abbey where the beer used to be produced. The beer is a pretty, hazy golden blond with a light white foam and a very enticing aroma of fermented fruits and herbs. The beer is quite hoppy and floral in taste, with a light but smooth mouthfeel. This is an intriguing beer, refreshing yet packing a powerful punch at 10% abv.
Bon Secours Myrtille (6.4% abv) is a seasonal beer resulting from a maceration of the natural juice of blueberries. It is made using dry hopping, a technique which consists of adding hops to an already fermented beer. The beer is a nice reddish brown colour and slightly hazy, with a strong aroma of blueberries. It has a fruity taste but isn’t sweet at all. It also has a very dry finish which I loved. This is an enjoyable beer, unique in that you get a fresh fruit flavour without the sweetness.
Bon Secours Brune (8% abv) is the recipient of an Award of Excellence at the Brussels Beer Challenge in 2005 and winner of World’s Best Beer in 2008. It is a dark brown beer with a creamy foam and a fruity aroma with hints of coffee. The first sip gives a hit of alcohol, followed by sweet caramel flavour and a lightly bitter finish. This is the perfect accompaniment for a chocolate dessert.
Bon Secours Ambree (8% abv) is brewed with malts and caramelised malts. It has a warm copper colour with a creamy foam head. The tasting notes describe an aroma of caramel, wheat and cherries. I thought it had a really sour and fruity aroma. The taste is slightly caramelised and fruity, with just a little hint of bitterness at the finish. It is surprisingly light tasting, and also a bit tangy.
Bon Secours Blonde (8% abv) is the flagship of the Caulier Brewery and this month’s Belgibeer box comes with both a ,33L bottle and a 750ml bottle. The beer is a slightly hazy, lightly golden blonde with a thick foam top and a yeasty aroma with notes of malt and citrus. It has a malty and ever-so-slightly spicy taste. This is surprisingly rich tasting for a blonde, yet still refreshing.
I enjoyed trying each of the beers from the Caulier Brewery, so much so that I don’t have a clear favourite. Each brew is unique and tasty, and definitely worth a try. I also love the cool retro-style bottle caps which make the most satisfying ‘pop’ when opened, adding some extra fun to the drinking experience.
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