From: Esquelbecqu France
Brewer’s Note: “Daniel Thiriez’s rustic little brick-and-beam brewery graces the village of Esquelbecq, plunk in the middle of the rolling farm country of French Flanders. With a brewing degree from a Belgian university, and decidedly Belgian-oriented, Monsieur Thiriez makes ales with an earthy, slightly wild character that recalls the early days of farmhouse brewing, before there was a border between France and Belgium. The delicate spicy champagne aromas of this thirst-quenching blonde beauty are quickly followed by a bracing rush of whole fresh hops.
The first beer created by the brewery, it has become famous and is the main production. Spring barley in two rows of hops Flanders. Deep Yellow Gold, creamy foam, fine sparkle, notes levurées, hint of orange zest, bitterness developed. A gourmet beer, influenced by the Belgian style.”
The beer’s label is fancy and funky. Great background with a superb farmyard look. The font is funky and fresh and there is minimal clutter, which I like quite like a lot. This label is quite worthy of the shelf.
The beer pours a dirty golden-copper with a huge head of pebble-like bubbles that settle to a half-finger’s width and leave a long fluffy serpent of lacing on the sides of the glass. In body the beer is a murky haze with very little of the other side of the glass making its way through the beer. On the nose, the beer smells beautifully rustic yet sweet. Barnyard funk, grass, pineapple, slight horse blanket, and cider mingle over the nose. I love the rustic nature of the nose, but it is a touch too sweet. As it warms, the funky barnyard scent blends hay, herbs, pineapple, and horse blanket nicely. On the tongue, the beer tastes funky sweet with mild tingly acidity and a rustic herbal bitterness that leads to a dry finish. In flavor, the beer tastes a touch less rustic than the smell. The beer begins as sweet cider with grassy rustic funk that turns to pineapple, then horse blanket. As the beer warms I do sense smooth bread malt and wheat. The finish is of prickly herbs, horse blanket, and a touch of cider. The aftertaste is off bitter hay and grass with a touch of barnyard. In the mouth, the beer feels crisp with a fluffy soft carbonation. The beer is on the light side of medium in the body. There is a crisp tingly feeling as well that lingers on the tongue as an astringency on the sides of the tongue while saliva seems to pool towards the middle of the tongue (strange enough). Overall, I really dig this beer. It is a slightly sweet brett saison with terrific barnyard character, which is admittedly one of my favorite styles. This beer is not perfect. It’s too sweet and needs more hop character for a ‘dry-hopped farmhouse ale,’ but I love this beer all the same. Hits the right barnyard notes. This beer is my jam.