This bottle of Abbaye de St. Amand is one of the beers I got while visiting Marc-Antoine De Mees at his Brasserie de Brunehaut in the south of Belgium. I had never heard of it before and certainly hadn’t tried it in the States. This is a beer that is shipped under two different labels. In the United States, it’s called “Abbaye de St Amand” and has extremely limited distribution. In Flanders and The Netherlands, it’s called Ne Kopstoot (translated as “Headbutt”). The beer is a typical Belgian blonde ale with a twist. It’s brewed with juniper berries.
Appearance: Straw-gold with peach highlights. White head with good retention. A touch of haze.
Aroma: Fresh herbs, touch of gin, light fruitiness.
Taste: Fruity, balanced, with a touch of graininess with a touch of sweetness. Notes of fresh pine. Balancing acidity.
Overall Impression: This is a fun beer. It’s genever (juniper) notes blend nicely with the nice maltiness of a Belgian blonde. The nice effervescence helps keep this beer light on the palate. This would be a nice beer with white fish, appetizers or as a warm day quaffer. It’s not a giant juniper bomb. Like most Belgian beers, balance is the desired goal.
Availability: In San Francisco as Abbaye De St. Amand. As Ne Kopstoot in Flanders and The Netherlands.