Rare Beer Club Selections Apr 2012–Brouwerij Dilewyns - Vicaris Generaal & Masia Agullons - Runa Brown Ale

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Here are details on the April 2012 selections for the Rare Beer Club: (click Read More)

Brouwerij Dilewyns (Dendermonde, Belgium) — Vicaris Generaal

Vanberg & DeWulf have been selecting and importing specialty beers from France and Belgium for 30 years, and this month we’re pleased to introduce you to another fine, hard to find beer that they’ve managed to hand select, from Belgium’s newest brewery no less. It’s no secret that brewing has been a male-dominated industry, but female brewers are turning up in unprecedented numbers around the world, as in the case with our brewer this month - Anne-Cathérine Dilewyns. In business with her father, who creates the beer recipes, she actually happens to be the newest professional female brewer in Belgium. A family brewing together, taking the bold step of opening a new brewery during an uncertain global economy is something we truly feel lucky to be a part of.

An abbey-style double/dubbel, Vicaris Generaal pours a burgundy brown capped with a pale beige head. On the nose, expect notes of fresh orange, plum, a splash of grape must, dark cherry, and raisins. The malts are strong, delivering ample wafts of fresh baked bread and biscuits. Look for a faint touch of roasted malt as well. There’s a wonderful Belgian “double-ness” that lets you know this is authentic. The brewery has a unique take on the style: a rather dry double, with a good amount of roastiness. At nearly 9% ABV, the alcohol is hidden quite well. Finishes with a subtle vinous character and well-placed hop bitterness. It’s a difficult style to pull off, but this brew exemplifies an exceptionally poised and balanced version. In fact, from a brewery that opened less than a year ago, finding beer this balanced, with its own distinctive stamp, is quite remarkable. Dilewyns beers are rare indeed; aside from some kegs, only about 120 bottles have made their way to the US prior to our members getting theirs. Enjoy!

Masia Agullons (Mediona, Alt Penedés, Catalonia, Spain) — Runa Brown Ale

Located within the Catalonia region of the Northeastern Spanish countryside is the small village of Mediona. Catalonia is known more for its picturesque rolling hills and agriculture-filled valleys than it is for its beer, but that’s changing. The first microbrewery in the region opened in 2005 and there are over a dozen there today. A former inhabitant of Barcelona, Carles Rodríguez obtained official permission to operate his small, farmhouse-brewery in 2008, Masia Agullons. Originally a homebrewer, Carles decided to get into the business of brewing beer professionally, and in 2005, installed the tiny Masia Agullons brewery inside a mid-19th century farmhouse. When it comes down to it, the beers made on Masia Agullons’ 500 liter brewing system speak for themselves—and they do so with true elegance, as you’ll soon learn.

Left unfiltered and unpasteurized, this brew allows a completely natural re-fermentation in the bottle. Pours a deep mahogany brown color, topped by a light tan, creamy head. On the nose, expect a pleasantly rich brown ale aroma, featuring prominent notes of chestnuts, orange/citrus, multi-grain bread, nougat, fresh malted barley, and rounded out by a faint creaminess. This beer is sumptuously rich and full in the mouth. Note the creamy level of carbonation and the moderate roastiness complete with coffee notes. It’s quite nutty, with a good deal of yeast expression, and some well-placed spiciness. We got quite a bit of nougat character in the flavor profile, just as in the nose. As it warms, expect the bitterness to gain ground, with the nougat notes coming up a bit as well. The finish offers a very nice lingering hoppy spiciness that cleans the palate up, refreshing it for another sip. Finding such good beer, especially from a tiny farmhouse in the Catalonian countryside, is quite a discovery. Cheers!

About Bil Cord

Founder, owner, author, graphic designer, CEO, CFO, webmaster, president, mechanic and janitor for mybeerbuzz.com. Producer and Co-host of the WILK Friday BeerBuzz live weekly craft beer radio show. Small craft-brewer of the craft beer news sites and one-man-band with way too many instruments to play.

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