Last weekend, March 14-16, the town of Halle celebrated its annual Lent Carnival. Halle is situated outside Brussels in Vlaams Brabant (Flemish Brabant). Since 1883, they’ve celebrated with a beer called Duivels Bier (translated Devils Beer). Over the years it’s been brewed by various local breweries for the festivities. As each one has closed, another local brewery has picked up the reigns to keep the beer alive. When Brouwerij Vander Linden closed in 2001, Frank Boon and Brouwerij Boon picked up the slack to keep the tradition going.
Boon and his brewery are located in the Lembeek which is part of the larger Halle administrative and at this point in time the only brewery left in the area. Boon is one of Belgium’s famous Lambic brewers. Duivels Bier isn’t a spontaneously fermented Lambic. It’s a conventionally brewed Donker/Dark ale.
Appearance: Brown with amber highlights, light tan head, great retention.
Aroma: Spicy, cinnamon, hazel nuts, chocolate, toffee, dark fruit, malty with roasty notes.
Taste: Toffee, chocolate, roasted nuts, malty with good yeast spice.
Overall Impression: Slightly sweet but still balanced with dry touches, Duivels Bier is a fun treat from a brewery renowned for its complex Geuzes. Thanks to Boon, Halle’s carnival goers will be able to keep drinking their traditional Donker, now in its 132nd year of being brewed and consumed. The new 2015 batch has just been released, so pick some up and enjoy a nice dark Belgian ale. It’ll warm you up on a rainy spring day and make you feel just a bit more festive!
Availability: Seasonal offering released around the Halle Lent Carnival. Available in Halle & Belgium for a good deal of the year.
Note: This beer was sent to me by my friend and Belgian Beer Blogger, Belgian Beer Geek.