A Beery Merry Christmas!

Our 2012 Christmas List

Our 2012 Christmas List

Let the Festivities Begin!

 

The Bruery 2 Turtle Doves 

Au Baron (Bailleux)  Saison Saint Médard Noël

Ommegang Biere D’Hougoumont

Gouden Carolus Noël

Fantôme de Noël

St Bernardus Christmas Ale

Scaldis (Bush) Noël

Mikkeller Santa’s Little Helper 2011

Abbaye des Rocs Triple Impériale

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

Three Floyds Alpha Klaus Christmas Porter

Dugges High Five!

Westvleteren XII (x 2)

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout 2009

Stone 12 Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

 

This is what’s on our Christmas List, we hope you get everything on your Christmas List too!

Happy Holidays!

Ruth & Mike

Bon Beer Voyage

Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus

Today’s Brewery of the Day:

Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus

Polderweg 2 Deinze-Gottem Belgium

Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus

We’ve just returned from France & Belgium where we met with some of the brewers and vendors for our upcoming October 27th –November 3rd Bon Beer Voyage beer tour:  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”

During this trip we visited 3 fabulous breweries on the French side of the border, 5 on the Belgian side as well as one French genièvre distillery.  In France, we visited Brasserie St Germain, Brasserie Thiriez & Brasserie Bailleux (where we had lunch in their magnificent restaurant Au Baron). In Belgium, wevisited Brouwerij Rodenbach, Brouwerij St Bernardus, Brouwerij Van Eecke, Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus & Chimay.

Over the next few days we will be highlighting each of the breweries on our tour as well as sharing some beery cool information on the beer scene in Lille.  For those who want a quick look at the amazing Day by Day Itinerary of the Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise click here.

Brewery of the Day: Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus

Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus is the smaller building in this photo

Sint Canarus is an extremely small brewery which makes really “big” beers.  They are located about a half hour drive southwest of Gent in the small town of Gottem (for you Batman fans, you can call it Gottem City).

Dr Canarus

The owner and brew-master Piet Meirhaeghe – who is better known in the beer world as Dr. Canarus, has a very interesting sense of humor which he imparts on his brewery.  Both Dr. Canarus & his brewery get their name from a local drinking club, called “Semper Canarus” which translates to always drunk.  Also, the word canard meets duck, and if you see a duck walk we would say it waddles, or looks drunk, therefore the word canard is slang for a drunkard. 

Below you will see Dr. Canarus hard at work serving up some of his fantastic brews

Dr Canarus serving up some of the fabulous brews at Sint Canarus

Bottles for sale at Sint Canarus

Beers available at Sint Canarus the day we were there included:

Export, his Pilsner is 4.6%abv

Sint Canarus Tripel 7.5%abv

Sint Canarus Tripel

Maeght van Gottem (which translates to the Virgin of Gottem) is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.0%abv and inside every bottle, placed by hand, is a single hop cone.

Potteloereke 8% abv a Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Pere Canard, which would translate to drunk father was originally brewed for Christmas and is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 9%abv.

Sint Canarus Pere Canard

Sint Canarus 10 jaar 8.72%abv, his 10th anniversary brew, is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Rule of Thirds (Import Series Vol 4) is a Tripel at 8%abv.   A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol 2) is a Saison at 8.0%abv. Both of these are collaborations with Stillwater Artisanal Ales and brewed here.

Here is Dr Canarus serving up Rule of Thirds (Import Series Vol 4)

Dr Canarus serving Rule of Thirds his collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal Ales

 Here is a peek at the “Large” brewery seen behind Ruth as she enjoys her Pere Canard:

Ruth enjoying her Pere Canard at Sint Carnarus

Currently, Potteloereke & Sint Canarus Tripel are their only “non- collaboration” beers which are being imported to the USA (12% Imports) and they not too easy to find-so we hope you’ll join us for our awesome upcoming beer trip-  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”  where you can enjoy these wonderful beers and experience the special humor of Dr. Canarus  yourself! 

Ruth & Mike at Sint Canarus

Cheers from Mike & Ruth! 

Bon Beer Voyage

Brasserie Bailleux / Restaurant Au Baron

We’ve just returned from France & Belgium where we met with some of the brewers and vendors for our upcoming October 27th –November 3rd Bon Beer Voyage beer tour:  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”

During this trip we visited 3 fabulous breweries on the French side of the border, 5 on the Belgian side as well as one French genièvre distillery.  In France, we visited Brasserie St Germain, Brasserie Thiriez & Brasserie Bailleux (where we had lunch in their magnificent restaurant Au Baron). In Belgium, wevisited Brouwerij Rodenbach, Brouwerij St Bernardus (where we stayed at the Brouwershuis), Brouwerij Van Eecke, Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus & Chimay(where we stayed at  l’Auberge de Poteaupré).

Over the next few days we will be highlighting each of the breweries on our tour as well as sharing some beery cool information on the beer scene in Lille.  For those who want a quick look at the amazing Day by Day Itinerary of the Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise click here.

Restaurant Au Baron & Brasserie Bailleux

Today’s Brewery of the Day:

Brasserie Bailleux / Restaurant Au Baron

2 rue du Piemont  Gussignies, France

Brewer Alain Bailleux grilling in their copper brew kettle

 Au Baron was started as a small tavern in the petite French town of Gussignies by Alain Bailleux and his wife Danielle Baron Bailleux in 1973.  By 1981 they turned this tavern into a wonderfully quaint restaurant with a grill made from a copper brew kettle!  In 1989 Alain, a brewer, with the help of his father (who also happens to be a brewer, as was his grandfather) built Brasserie Bailleux in the back of the restaurant.   This multi-generation family of brewers has now passed this brewing art onto Alain’s son Xavier.

Brasserie Bailleux is run by only 4 employees and make 3 year round brews and a Christmas beer.  We are excited that this year’s batch of Christmas beer will be finished brewing when we return in November on our “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”

The 3 year-round beers are: 

Au Baron Cuvée des Jonquilles

Cuvée des Jonquilles 7% abv. A Bière de Garde brewed with dandelions.   Cuvée des Jonquilles has a marvelous looking head with a fantastic nose. Also look at that nice thick lacing left on the glass!

What a great nose on the Cuvée des Jonquilles

Saison Saint Médard Ambrée & Saison Saint Médard Brune both are 7% abv Saisons / Farmhouse Ales named after the patron saint of the parish of Gussignies.   Pictured here is the Saison Saint Médard Ambrée

Au Baron Saison Saint Médard Ambrée a 7% abv Saison

 The restaurant was packed with locals enjoying the great food and beer at Au Baron.

Restaurant Au Baron

Restaurant Au Baron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Salade du Berger, which is salad, tomato, walnuts and toast topped with warm goat cheese

For lunch Ruth had the Salade du Berger, which is a salad with tomatoes, walnuts and toast topped with warm fresh goat cheese.  I had the plat de jour, which was a beef carbonnade made using the Saison Saint Médard Ambrée… Yummy!!

Inside the Restaurant is a shop to buy local delicacies and of course their delicious beer!

Local products for sale inside Au Baron

Here are a few photos inside the brewery: 

Brasserie Bailleux

Brasserie Bailleux

Currently, Cuvee de Jonquilles is the only beer imported to the USA (12% Imports) and not so easy to find-so we hope you’ll join us for our awesome upcoming beer trip-  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France” so you can enjoy the wonderful ambiance at Au Baron and try some of these fabulous beers and delicious food for yourself! 

 

Mike, Ruth and Brewer Alain Bailleux

Cheers from Mike, Ruth & Alain! 

Bon Beer Voyage

France & Belgium Vacation Beer Haul

Beer haul from our France & Belgium vacation

Here is the beer haul from our recent trip to France & Belgium where we met with some of the brewers and vendors for our upcoming October beer tour Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”

This is all the beer we were able to fit in our luggage without going over the 50 pound limit.  We also had some fantastic Bière de Garde from St Germain (Page 24) and Belgian Ales from Sint Canarus, which we weren’t able to bring back home due to the weight limits.

During this working vacation we had the chance to visit 8 of the 11 breweries which will be on our tour. This included 3 fabulous breweries on the France side of the border, 5 on the Belgium side and one French genièvre distillery.  From France we visited Brasserie Bailleux / Au Baron, Brasserie St Germain & Brasserie Thiriez.  In Belgium wevisited Brouwerij Rodenbach, Brouwerij St Bernardus, Brouwerij Van Eecke, Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus & Chimay. 

Over the next few days in this blog we will be highlighting each of the breweries on our tour as well as share some amazing beery information on the beer scene in Lille.  For those who want a quick look at the amazing Day by Day Itinerary of the Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise click here.

Beers in the Photo from left to right are:

The Pastis by Ricard, well it’s not beer but was added as a palate cleanser between beers 🙂

Dalva, a fantastic D.I.P.A. from Brasserie Thiriez.

Toyko, a Witbier from St Bernardus which was made for their new brewpub in Toyko.

2 great Saisons from Brasserie Baileux (Au Baron) both the Brune and the Ambrée
Saison Saint Médard.

Rodenbach’s Caractère Rouge which cost only 7.99 euro at a supermarket close to the French/Belgian border.

Rodenbach 2009 Vintage, a gift from the Rudi the brewer.

The last 3 beers were found at L’Abbaye des Saveurs a fabulous bottle shop in Lille which carries over 300 different beers, including a great selection of French beers:
Cuvée D’Oscar from Craig Allen.

Kabert (a blend of Kate the Great and Black Albert) from de Struise.

1997 Samichlaus (the last year it was made and bottled by the old brewery Hürlimann in Zürich Switzerland, it is now made by Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg in Austria).

Bon Beer Voyage

Beer # 192 Ommegang Art of Darkness

Ommegang Art of Darkness

Name: Art of Darkness

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Brewery:  Brewery Ommegang   website

Country: USA

Region: Cooperstown, New York

ABV: 8.9% abv

How served:  750ml corked and caged poured into a Ommegang glass.

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with:  Rotisserie, not baseball but…  chicken with a side of chick bean salad.  Not bad, but then again not many beers wouldn’t pair well with this meal.

Tasted on:  Tuesday June 05, 2012

Notes:  This is a limited and brewed only once beer.

This beer poured an extremely dark brown/black with an impressive 3 finger light brown head which dissipated slowly and left a very nice thick lacing on my glass.

The nose was light but full of dark fruits like plum and raisin with hints of dark chocolate and of the Belgian yeast.       

The taste of this brew starts off on the sweet side with dark fruit flavors like prunes, raisins and dates and a nice hint of candi sugar and dark chocolate. By mid palate the sweetness mellows out and you get some warmth from the alcohol and it ends more on a nice dry note.

The body was light to medium  with a creamy feel with a lively carbonation level which tickles the tongue.

The drinkability was very good especially since the body was light to medium.

Overall this brew could have benefited from a little more body, otherwise it is very good.

On the Label: Art of Darkness unites barley and wheat malts, and flaked oats, Ommegang yeast, and noble hops in a bewitching demonstration of the brewing arts.  Yet there are no secret ingredients nor mystical incantations.   There is only the highest realization of the art of brewing a dark Belgian-style ale of extraordinary flavor, aroma, and balance.  This ale walks the line between being savored now, and being cellared to relish later.  As discerning patron of the dark arts, you can make your own choice.

Pour slowly so as to not disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the rich bouquet.  Brewery Ommegang is 3, 624 miles from Brussels, but its heart is right in Belgium. It was created out of our devotion to the unique ales brewed by then country where brewing is an art and partaking is a passion.  Part of the Duvel family of fine ales.   Serve at 50° F/ 10° C

From their website:  Let us now acknowledge the dark arts of brewing. Our limited edition Art of Darkness Ale is deep, dark and magical, with champagne-like carbonation and rich maltiness from a complex recipe of multiple barley and wheat malts, as well as flaked oats.

Using no spices or flavorings, Art of Darkness gains all its rich aromas, tastes, and apparent spiciness from the malts and Ommegang’s proprietary house yeast.

There are no secret ingredients or magical incantation. There is only Ommegang brewers’ creating the finest quality dark, strong ale of complex and deep character.

Art of Darkness is a fine ale to enjoy immediately, and is excellent to cellar.

8.9% ABV

Available for a limited time in 750 ml bottles and 1/6 BBL keg starting in April 2012

Bon Beer Voyage

Beer #191 Struise Rosse by De Struise Brouwers

Struise Rosse by De Struise Brouwers

Name: Struise Rosse

Style: Amber Ale

Brewery:  De Struise Brouwers   website

Country: Belgium

Region: Oostvleteren

ABV: 5.0% abv

How served:  11.2oz capped bottle poured into a De Struise glass.

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with:  Nothing…Is that a sin? 

Tasted on:  Sunday June 03, 2012

Notes: 

This beer poured a cloudy orangey/amber with a 2 ½ finger light tan head, which dissipated slowly and left a thin lacing on the glass.       

The nose was full of caramel, malts and candi sugar, as well as some underlying notes of fruits, spices and Belgian yeast.       

The taste was similar to the nose with it starting off on the slightly sweet side with the caramel and malts; midway through it balanced out with some bitterness and I picked up some fruits and spices as this brew finished nice and dry.

The body was on the light to medium side with a refreshing level of carbonation.

The drinkability was very good especially on this hot Florida day.  I think I’ll have another!

On the Label: Interesting errors on the label…75 cl – CAT. 3  Alc 5,0% VOL.  SR No 2 AMBER BREW.  (Note size error on label… it was a 33cl bottle)

Cloudy amberbeer with nice appearance and an expressive nose of roasted nuts with a fine tone of noble beeryeast.  It has a full refreshing taste with a forestlike, dry caracter.  The aftertaste is elegant and very well balanced. (spelling is as per the label )

High fermentation beer, bottle conditioned, unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Ingredients: malt, malted wheat, oats, hops, yeast and candi.

From their website:  Slight hazy amber coloured ale with a fluffy off white head.

The aroma is complex and has touches of malts, nuts, yeast end hops.

The taste is well balanced and has intense flavours of malts, nuts and hops.

The aftertaste is long and ends with a refreshing hoppy note

Bon Beer Voyage

Beer # 190 Clown Shoes Miracle

Clown Shoes Miracle I.P.A.

Name: Miracle

Style: I.P.A.

Brewery:  Clown Shoes   website

Country: USA

Region: Ipswich, Massachusetts

ABV: 5.5% abv

How served:  22oz capped bomber poured into a De Struise glass.   

My Overall Opinion: Good.

I paired this beer with:  a Rib-eye steak topped with A-1 bold and spicy sauce (Tabasco) and a side of Chickpea salad.   You can almost never go wrong pairing an IPA with a steak, &  this pairing was awesome!

Tasted on:  Wednesday May 31, 2012

Notes: 

This beer poured an opaque amber orange with a 2 finger off white head, which dissipated slowly leaving a thin and sticky lacing on my glass.

The nose was light with some citrus notes like orange and lemons mixed with sweet malts and caramel.

The taste was not overpowering and started slightly hoppy/bitter with citrusy grapefruit rind notes and a pinch of pines, then was quickly balanced with a mildly sweet biscuit malty flavor and finished more on the dryer side.

The body was light to medium body & and a nice level of carbonation.

The drinkability was good as this was a light and refreshing IPA.  This IPA might be one of the few IPA’s which those who say they do not like IPA’s might actually like!!!

Overall, this was a great pairing with my steak, but as I.P.A’s go, it was just middle of the road.  That’s not saying this beer wasn’t good, as it was, but there are many other I.P.A’s which I would much rather have.  However if this beer was in front of me… down the hatch it would go & I would enjoy every drop of it!

On the Label:  Our boy Miracle Mike,  represents the good we hope to do with the Clown Shoes  Minor Miracle Fund.  A percentage of the profits from this juicy sessionable IPA will be used to help real people (and maybe a puppy or two).

Mercury Brewing Co.  Ipswich, MA.  Bottled May 2012

From their website:  Our boy Miracle Mike represents what we hope to do with our Minor Miracle Fund. A percentage of the profits from this juicy sessionable IPA will be used to help real people (and maybe a puppy or two).

Bon Beer Voyage

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