Zwanze Day 2021

Two things for you to do…

  1. Mark September 25th down in your calendar
  2. Find the nearest official Zwanze Day brewery/bar

Check HERE for locations. And if nothing else, make the 25th your reminder to pop open a bottle of Cantillon.

Belgian Stuffed

You still have most of this month to plan a trip to the OG beer garden of Los Angeles. Below is what should tempt you.

“The month of May is very special for the Stuffed Sandwich. The Stuffed Sandwich opened in May of 1976 – 45 years ago.

We always celebrate with Belgium Beers on draft.”

Here is this month’s selection:

BROUWERIJ ST. BERNARDUS – WATOU, BELGIUM
ST. BERNARDUS WIT ‘2020’
Traditional Belgian White Ale developed and brewed in collaboration with the Legendary Master Brewer Pierre Celis (known for the original white ale recipe- Hoegaarden White) wheaty, apple-like tartness with notes of coriander & orange, very refreshing

BRASSERIE ST. FEUILLIEN – LE ROEULX,HAINAUT, BELGIUM
ST. FEUILLIEN BLONDE – ‘2020’
Belgian Blonde Ale brewed with spices & citrus, nice mix of Belgian yeast, malt and coriander, slight bitterness on the finish

BROUWERIJ BOSTEELS – BUGGENHOUT, EAST FLANDERS, BELGIUM
KWAK PAUWEL AMBER ALE ‘2020’
Belgian Strong Ale with a nice taste of caramel, malt and dried fruit; has some sweetness with a hint of vinegar on the finish

BRASSERIE D’ACHOUFFE – ACHOUFFE, BELGIUM
LA CHOUFFE GOLDEN ALE ‘2021’
Belgian Golden Ale an unfiltered blonde ale brewed with coriander & invert sugar syrup; hints of fruit, spices, sugar and caramel

SCOURMONT ABBEY TRAPPIST BIERES DE CHIMAY – BAILEUX, BELGIUM
CHIMAY PREMIERE RED ‘2019’
Belgian Red (Dubbel) Ale brewed by monks at their monastery; nice blend of dried fruit, candy & caramel; slightly sweet/slightly tart

BROUWERIJ DE HALVE MAAN – BRUGES, WEST FLANDERS, BELGIUM
STRAFFE HENDRIK BRUGS TRIPEL ‘ 2020’
Belgian Tripel brewed in the city of Bruges since 1856. Top fermented and is still brewed according to the original recipe all these years later; has taste of spices, cloves, coriander, ginger and black pepper, semi-bitter finish

BRASSERIE DUPONT – TOURPET, BELGIUM
DUPONE AVEC LES BONS VOEUX ‘2020’
Belgian Saison brewed for the holidays – Bons Voeux means Good Wishes; higher alcohol for a Saison than most saisons, hints of apples, spicy and floral

BROUWERIJ VAN STEENBERGE NV, ERTVELDE, BELGIUM
MONK’S CAFE FLEMISH SOUR ALE ‘2020’
Belgian Sour Flemish Ale – it’s a blend of young and older beers, taste of wine, dried fruit, berries and caramel; has a sweet/sour finish

BROUWERIJ DE BRABANDERE NV – BAVIKHOVE, BELGIUM
PETRUS AGED RED ALE (SOUR CHERRY) ‘2019’
Belgian Red Ale aged in oak foeders; the base is a double brown ale 15% Petrus Pale Ale is added to provide a dry character andslight sour flavor, fresh cherries are added towards the end ofbrewing; nice blend of sweet and sour

Coming Next:

June: LA County Beers on Draft!
July: Summer Beers on Draft!!
August: Sweet and Sour Beers on Draft!!!

Featured Review – Rochefort 10

I went straight up the ladder you 10 since Trappistes Rochefort does not have a 9 which is my favorite number.

10 – pours a dark amber red color. The head just doesn’t diminish. I watched as it took many minutes to flatten down. Yeast esters on the nose headlined by banana. Not so much spice though that I would expect. Quite bready and sweet. A dessert quality to it.  A “wet” beer but not viscous. 

Featured Review – DefCon1 from Faction Brewing

Might as well start big right. Heading into the new DefCon series from Faction Brewing at #1, the Belgian Quadruple. It pours a dark cola color and the candi sugar is the first dominant aroma and taste that I get. It has a syrupy sweetness to it. I start picturing it as a float with salted caramel ice cream to balance the flavors. There is a bit of spice layered underneath which adds a nice counterpoint. As it warms up, the flavors flatten a bit and the whole works well. Looking forward to trying the other numbers in the series b

Level Up

A Belgian alert! Faction Brewing has sent some DEFCON SoCal’s way…

DEFCON 1: Belgian Quadruple – 9.5% ABV

DEFCON 2: Belgian Tripel – 7.4% ABV

DEFCON 5: Belgian Table Beer – 4.2% ABV

Now we just have to wait and see what 3 and 4 are style-wise..

Orval 2020

Consider this your one-week warning to stock up on Orval because…

…this should be a beer that all beer geeks have at least once a year and the 21st is as good a date as any.

Monk List

If you thought the world of Belgian beer was easy to peg, well, You have to look for more than just the Trappist seal. Jeff at the Beervana Blog has compiled a helpful list that I know I will check back to in 2020.

Look at the rundown, right HERE.

O-Day

Going from a full month of Flagship beers to just one single day for the world classic of Orval. I’m glad that at least this day is around to remind me (and you) to drink this damn fine beer. Make sure you get one today, should be $6.00 or so but well worth it.

Maybe, like star signs, each month should have a beer like Orval as the totem for that month. And make Saison Dupont the one for February.

The Bluebird is Flying


I still have not checked out the British themed Stalking Horse from the Artisanal Brewers Collective (ABC) and now they are introducing a Belgian addition to the family.

Bluebird Brasserie will open in Sherman Oakson April 2, 2018. This Belgian pub will have “beer brewed on site, themed cocktails, and a traditional menu featuring delicacies like Beer Cheese Croquettes, Moules-Frites and Liege Waffles for dessert.”

Noah Regnery will be concocting the “house beers” “while the remainder of the tap list will be replete with 10 taps of Belgian-style beers from known breweries such as The Lost Abbey, The Bruery, Allagash, Ommegang and more. A curated bottle list rounds out the beer menu with Belgian offerings such as Duvel, St. Bernardus 12, Deus, as well as some Trappist beers such as Orval, Chimay Red and Westmalle Tripel.”

But plan ahead because this new Pub/Brasserie will have limited reservations and allow in limited walk-ins for dinner only for the first two weeks of opening- starting at 5pm. Once that phase is complete they will be open from 12:00pm-12:00am on Sunday-Wednesday, and 12:00pm-2:00am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Orval Day…

…is coming and I suggest you buy a bottle to celebrate earlier rather than later.

Last March, I went a’lookin’ for a bottle to pop open on the appointed day and found empty shelves at my local and at two BevMo’s.

Orval is such a fun beer and one that I should have more than once a year and you should too.