Brasserie de Bastogne lies deep in the Belgian Ardennes just outside the town of Bastogne. Bastogne is most famous as the site of the Battle of the Bulge during WWII where a severely outnumbered force of Americans managed to hold off Germany’s last offensive of the war. There are several museums and memorials in the area to visit, including the newly remodeled Bastogne War Museum.
Brasserie de Bastogne was founded in 2008 when Philippe Grand met up with an old friend, a farmer, and came up with the idea of starting a farmhouse style brewery. Philippe had worked at the Val-Saint-Lambert Brewery and wanted to get back in the brewing business. The first batch of beer was brewed in 2009.
Belle d’été is Bastogne’s version of a Blanche bier. It’s brewed with wheat, barley malt, 4 varieties of hops, orange peel, and coriander. What makes this beer unique is that it’s finished with Orval’s famous yeast.
Appearance: Cloudy pale yellow, white head, good retention.
Aroma: Floral, spicy, citric, orange peel, coriander, earthy notes.
Taste: Citrus notes, earthy, peppery finish.
Overall Impression: This beer a delightful mix of the traditional Blanche Biere crispness and fruitiness and the earthy, funky notes provided by the Orval yeast. The beer is very dry, as is typical with this yeast strain. Give it time, and it’ll chew up all the sugar in a beer. It’s both crisp and “rustic” with a medium-long finish. This is a great example of small, artisanal brewing. I’m eager to try more from this new brewery.
Availability: In select markets. Imported by Authentic Beverage Management. Their page shows which states their beers are available in.