Sunday, September 16, 2012

Les Deux Brasseurs

De Proef Brouwerij and its brewer, Dirk Naudts, have worked with various American craft brewers to produce collaboration beers.  I reviewed one of Naudt's collaborations with Terrapin Brewing Company, the Monstre Rouge. My beautiful Angel found another one of Naudt's collaborations, and bought a bottle of Les Deux Brasseurs Belgian Ale.  This collaboration represents the combination of the talents and creativity of Naudts with Jason Perkins, the head brewer at Allagash Brewing in Portland, Maine.

Les Deux Brasseurs ("the Two Brewers") is a Belgian Style Golden Ale.  This beer sets itself apart from other golden ales by the fact the beer is fermented with two different strains of Brettanomyces, which are wild yeast strains.  Commonly referred to as "Brett," these yeast strains are the bane of winemakers, but craft brewers love them.  Allagash's strain of Brett was discovered and isolated in their brewery.  Allagash flew this yeast strain to Belgium just days before the brew day for Les Deux Brasseurs.  On behalf of De Proef, Naudt chose his personal favorite strain of Brett.  The two Brett strains provided a second level of collaboration, working together to provide a unique flavor for this beer.  The brewers fermented and aged the beer for four months, during which time it was dry-hopped with Czech Saaz hops. 

According to brewers, the two yeasts strains yield notes of pear, apple and subtle pineapple, along with flavors of graham cracker, bread crust and subtle distinctive barnyard character.  That is quite an interesting description for the beer. 

The beer is a hazy, golden color, with a lot of fermentation.  Small bubbles working their way up through the beer to the surface, while dead yeast cells linger along the bottom of the glass.  That "barnyard" character is present in the aroma, but not the taste, which is marked with the pear, apple and pineapple.  The Brett yeast strains worked incredibly well together.

Generally speaking, so-called "Brett" beers are very difficult to pair with food.  This beer is best enjoyed on its own, or, maybe with some soft cheeses that do not have their own "barnyard character."

This beer is a little hard to find and I have not found it at any stores.  However, Clare found it at a beer store in Virginia, where it sold for $17.99 a bottle. 

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