Brasserie de Cazeau, located in the Walloon country side just northwest of the city of Tournai near the French border, is a small family farm brewery with a long history. The brewery, through various marriages, has largely remained in the same family since its documented founding in 1753. According to the family, a brewery could have been there longer but the first actual dated documents showing the existence of a brewery are linked to that date. The brewery operated almost continually, with exceptions for WWI and WWII, until 1969 when owner Jean Agache brewed the last batch.
It wasn’t until 2004 that new life was brought back to the brewery when Jean’s son Laurent and Laurent’s cousin Quentin bought some used equipment and returned the family brewery to an operating status. Today they’re brewing nearly 450 hectoliters of beer a year, or about 383 bbls (11,890 gallons).
Tournay de Noël is their Christmas Ale. It’s brewed with 5 different malts and 3 different hops.
Appearance: Ruby brown, tan head, great retention.
Aroma: Cola, cloves, cinnamon, anise, molasses, cocoa, chocolate, nutmeg
Taste: Chocolate, cocoa, spice, chalk, mineral in the finish.
Overall Impression: This is the second beer I’ve tasted from this brewery (although I haven’t posted the review of the other one yet). What a tasty beer! It’s got a lot of depth, character, and complexity yet it remains balanced and drinkable. The spicy flavor definitely speaks of Christmas. I’m certainly going to continue looking for more beer from this little brewery; they’re doing a great job making lovely beers.
Availability: Seasonally wherever Belgian beers imported by 12% Imports are sold.