THE LABEL COLLECTION
La Saint Monon
La Saint Monon (Bière d’Ambly - au miel) was an extremely dark reddish-brown color with a medium beige head. The 6.5% alcohol beer had a very nice roasted malt flavor and aftertaste.
The brewery, P. Jacob - Brasserie d’Ambly, has several labels each containing images of beer-drinking monks, pigs, and a small bell. Nassogne is located in the southern Belgian province of Luxembourg.
The Zatte Bie (Dutch for "drunk bee") is a very strong, dark beer. Candy sugar and spices add to its rich taste. The 9% alcohol content, however, is not very noticable until AFTER one has finished drinking this tasty beverage.
Brouwerij De Bie is located in the Belgian province of West-Vlaanderen. The brewery was present this year at the 24 Hours of Belgian Beer festival, where one could sample several of the brewery's different beers. It looks like the brewery takes pride in producing good beers with very interesting and entertaining labels.
Ter Dolen is a top-fermented blond abbey beer with an alcohol content of 6.1%. The light colored beer has a lovely smell and tastes somewhat fruity with a very nice bitterness.
This beer is brewed by Brouwerij De Dool in Helchteren. The picture depicts the residence of the Abbots of Sint-Truiden which was rebuilt in 1994 to house the current brewery.
Verboden Vrucht ("forbidden fruit") is a beer made with special local yeast and undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle. It's 9.0% alcohol is quite noticable in the taste. This dark red beer is claimed to be an irresistable nectar of the gods.
The brewery is located in the Flemish region of Belgium called Brabant. Although brewing has been taking place in the city of Hoegaarden since 1318, the last brewery closed its doors in 1957. Luckily, some beer enthusiasts were able to bring the art of beer brewing back to the city, and the golden years have once again returned to Hoegaarden.
Witte Ezel ("white donkey") is good tasting witbier, a style of top-fermented beer that is flavored with such ingredients as coriander and lemon peels. The unusually high 7.0% alcohol (for a witbier) was hardly noticable.
The beer is brewed by Bavik, located in Bavikhove. The bottle's back label explains the beer's name: "Ezel" or donkey is the nickname for the inhabitants of the southwestern Flemish community of Kuurne. Just like the people of this area, the donkey is the symbol of patience but stubborn persistence, and aware of its own ability. So is this beer; it is brewed with honest ingredients of the highest quality, has a delicate taste but is hearty in character.
Blondine is a Belgian style blond beer with 9% alcohol. This top-fermenting, light colored beer is fruity yet also has a very strong taste of alcohol.
Blondine is brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge in Ertvelde, which is located in the province of Oost-Vlaanderen in Belgium. The brewery offers a wide variety of labels and beers, such as: Mosselbier (designed to accompany those big traditional pots of steamed mussels), Piraat (the pirate among beers), and Brunnette (the auburn haired counterpart of Blondine).
Deugniet (Dutch for "ne'er-do-well") is a top-fermenting regional beer with an alcohol content of 8%. The taste is mild and slightly fruity with almost a hint of apricot.
Deugniet is brewed by Brasserie Du Bocq, located in Purnode-Yvior in the French speaking province of Namur in Belgium. The brewery was founded in 1858 by Martin Belot and is still family owned today, several generations later. The brewery is currently the second largest in the Walloon portion of Belgium, and in 1993 produced 55,000 hectoliters of beer. The brewery produces plenty of good beers with an array of labels to match.
Grimbergen Dubbel (or "double) was a delicious 6.5% alcohol Belgian dubbel style beer. Dubbels are typically very dark ruby red with a dark beige head. They have a very nice, roasted, full taste and smell. Since they are often quite sweet with only a mild bitterness, they make lovely desserts.
The Grimbergen abbey was founded in the province of Brabant in 1128 by the Holy Norbertus. The Norbertiner monestary was originally for both men and women until 1410 when the women were moved to Nieuwenrode. Since 1958, the fathers have worked with various breweries and distributors such as Alken-Maes and Union to help increase capacity and availability of their beer.
Bière du Soleil
Chouffe - Bière du Soleil is a hazy orange beer with an off-white head. It had a very strong alcohol taste which was quite surprising given that it only has an alcohol content of 4.5%. Overall it as a fine, well-brewed beer. It just didn't happen to appeal to the flavor preferences of the VB Team who liked the brewery's "Bière de Mars" much better. Its sunny label, however, is much more appropriate for the country's currently warm summer months.
Brasserie D’Achouffe was founded in 1982 in the city of Achouffe (in the Belgian province of Luxembourg) as the result of the hobby of Chris Bauweraerts and his brother-in-law Pierre Gobron. Their first beer "La Choffe" came out in 1982 and was followed by "Mc Chouffe" in 1987. Since then there have been many interesting and funny labels and stories.
Helleketelbier (Dutch for "Hell's kettle beer") is an amber colored, top-fermented beer with a rather high alcohol content of 7.0%. It is an extremely tasty beer with a great smell and aftertaste. Along with the typical beer ingredients, candied sugar and spices are also listed on the label.
Brouwerij De Bie is located in the Belgian province of West-Vlaanderen. The brewery makes several beers all with very entertaining lables. Their "Hellekapelle" label depicts a witch and her terrified cat on a broom.
Tripel Karmeliet is an exceptional beer in many ways, even in its name. Based on a Belgian "Tripel" style beer (a rather strong blond-colored beer), it is made using three different types of grain (a triple-grained beer consisting of barely, wheat, and oats). This lovely golden beer had a very nice creamy head and an extremely good fruity taste. The high 8.0% alcohol was also very obvious in the taste, but rather than detract from the beer, it added to the beer's complex character.
The beer is brewed after a 17th century recipe first created in 1679 by the "Dendermondse Karmelietenklooster" (the Carmelite monestary in Dendermond). The label depicts nuns reaping the grain in the field. The label gets its lovely antique look from the wood-carved drawing style, the scroll-like background, and the beautiful decorative borders similar to ones found in old handwritten books drawn by monestary scribes.
The brewery, Brouwerij Bosteels, was founded in 1791 by Jozef Bosteels, and has been in the family for six generations. Even though the brewery is located in the Dutch-speaking province of Brabant, the label is written in both Dutch and French (the two major languages of Belgium).
Newton is an apple beer.. or appelbier... or bière à la pomme, or birra de mela, or æble øle... to mention just a of few of the many names listed on the label. The hazy deep yellow beer had a large white head and an alcohol content of 4.5%. From the smell, one expected a very strong, sour, cider-like beer. Yet the beer was quite smooth, mild and had a lovely creaminess to it. While there was plenty of apple taste, there was still plenty of beer flavors left as well.
The brewery is located in Quenast, in the northern province of Brabant. It was founded in 1879 by Jules Lefèbvre. In 1919 his son Augustijn built a new brewery which was later again modernized by Gaston Lefèbvre. The brewery currently makes a long list of exceptional beers including Barbãr and Moeder Overste.
This special hand-crafted beer is a Belgian Triple style beer with an alcohol content of 8.0%. It had a slightly hazy, medium orange color with a very creamy off-white head. It was a full-flavored beer with plenty of good malt taste and lots of tartness. The alcohol content of this yummy beer was quite noticable in both taste and sensation.
The city of Durbuy, located in the north-eastern Belgian province of Limburg, received the title of city back in 1331 and currently prides itself on being the smallest city in the world. The Vermin Brewing International Research Team personally travelled to this city to check out its claim. The city was indeed quite tiny but exceedingly charming, with narrow cobblestone streets, a giant castle, a beautiful large river, and even a lovely topiary garden... oh, and of course its own beer.
L'écume des jours
L'écume des jours rated extremely highly on the Vermin Brewing scale. This very tasty Belgian blond style ale had an equally impressive smell and appearance. It's 7.0% alcohol was not very noticable.
Brunehaut, the city for which the brewery is named, is located directly on the French border in the Belgian province of Hainaut.The brewery also responsible for another excellent beer and a fine label: Biére du Mont Saint-Aubert.