Brasserie de la Senne is one of Brussels’ newest breweries with their doors opening in December of 2010. However, owners Yvan De Baets and Bernard Leboucq have been brewing together since 2003 when they established their first brewery in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw. The two brewers decided that they wanted to establish a brewery in their home city and began working towards that goal. As they ran out of space in their first brewery, they began renting time in the breweries of friends to keep production increasing. Once they were ready, they doubled the number of breweries in Brussels to 2: Cantillon and Brasserie de la Senne.
The brewery is named after the famed river from which Brussels sprang. Their focus is to create great beers of varying alcohol strengths with a bitter edge. Brussels Calling, while not their most bitter effort, focuses more on fresh hops and dry-hopping to create a unique hop experience. The beer is only brewed once a year in December and each vintage features different hops from the previous. This year’s edition used Herkules for the bittering hops and Hallertau Hersbrucker for the dry-hopping.
Appearance: Hazy blonde, White head, great retention.
Aroma: Spicy, citrus, white pepper, earth, floral, white pepper, yeasty spiciness.
Taste: Pineapple, floral notes, spiciness, earthiness, pepper in the finish.
Overall Impression: This hoppy beer is all about the aroma. While it’s hop crispness is very present, along with a nice clean bitterness, the aroma from the dry-hopping is the star. It’s a big nose full of European hop character. With a velvety mouthfeel and a medium-long finish, this is a very pleasurable beer to drink. It’s got nice hop character without being overly aggressive. It’s got a bit of Belgian yeast character to add complexity. The alcohol level is reasonable allowing for repeat drinking if you’re lucky enough to have several bottles. Overall, this is a well-balanced beer with unique character and exceptional drinkability.
Availability: De La Senne is imported by Shelton Brothers. Brussels Calling is one of the beers they import, although it may not have made it through their distribution chain quite yet. If you see it, pick it up without hesitation. Super tasty.
Notes: This was one of the featured breweries in the Belgian Beer & Food magazine’s first issue. Check the magazine out to read more about Brasserie de la Senne. You can read my review of the magazine here.
Additional Notes: This beer was sent to me by my friend and Belgian Beer Blogger, Belgian Beer Geek.
You can read more about Brasserie de la Senne on my page dedicated to them.