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Popping corks in Antwerp

A first, private tasting of the Champagne-style beer Brut Reserve, made by Belgium's Malheur brewery, has just taken place at the Michelin-starred restaurant, "Le Bellefleur", near Antwerp. The beer has a secondary fermentation in the bottle, after which the yeast is frozen and removed as in the Champagne method.

Signing books Dining
Michael Jackson signs copies of the fourth edition of Great Beers of Belgium (left). Visitors to Beer Passion Weekend enjoy beers and food prepared with beer (right).

Malheur Brut Reserve, at 11.0 per cent alcohol by volume, has a remarkably flowery aroma, with suggestions of vanilla; restrained, tightly combined, fruity flavors (apricot? citrus?); and a very dry finish. The beer had a brief public preview at Beer Passion Weekend, in Antwerp, but only a few bottles were available. Its American debut will be in the Great Beers of Belgium club.

Another club choice briefly available at Beer Passion Weekend was Petrus Aged Pale. Supplies of this were quickly exhausted, too. Two beers new to me were the strong amber and Tripel under the Urthel label, from De Leyerth.

More on all of these beers in full-length Belgian update next week.

Published: JULY 2, 2001
In: Beer Hunter Online

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