I’ve been spending a lot of time researching, drinking, and writing about the new wave of breweries in Belgium. Like the US, there is a whole new generation of beer lovers getting into the business of commercial brewing. Hobbybrouwerij Het Nest is one that I’m particularly excited about. I’ve been telling quite a few people about their beers and have turned on a few of my favorite beer shops to their beers, which they’ve brought in and sold well. Currently, as the name indicates, Het Nest is basically a very ambitious home brewing group that is having its recipes produced at several local breweries on a contract basis. What’s really exciting though is that within the next year or so, they’ll be producing their beer in their own facility.
Turnhoutse Saison is one of their newer recipes and was created for the 800th anniversary of their home city of Turnhout. Known locally as Turnhoutse Patriot, this was the first beer from Het Nest that I tried. I think I found it on a closeout rack and wasn’t expecting much. I love Saisons so I have fairly high standards on what I like from a Saison. I opened this one expecting to be disappointed while simultaneously hoping to be surprised. Fortunately for me, it was the latter option. These Flemish home brewers really did a great job figuring out how to make a great interpretation of the classic Walloon farmhouse ale.
Appearance: Light hazy blonde/gold, off white head, good retention.
Aroma: Peppery, herbs, sage, “fresh” aroma, light undertones of grain.
Taste: Phenolic, spicy, slight oiliness, with a light peppery finish. Velvety/creamy mouthfeel.
Overall Impression: This is very nice interpretation of a Walloon Saison. It’s not an identical clone and has its own character. This is another excellent beer from Het Nest, and one worth trying if you’re lucky enough to see some on the shelf. Because of their small size, their beers are a bit elusive. Once they’re operating at full scale on their new system, I’ll be very excited to try their current beers and new beers to see what they can do on their own. In the mean time, I hope more of their various beers make it here. I’d like to explore their line more fully.
Availability: Limited. Highly small production, grab it while you can. They’re imported by Shelton Brothers, check with stores that carry beers from this importer.
You can visit my page dedicated to Hobbybrouwerij Het Nest to read more about this brewery, including more reviews of their beers.