The Van Roy family has been attending Saint Gilloise football games for 5 generations. The Brussels team used to be a perennial top club until the 1960’s. The club contacted their renowned brewing fans in 2004 to brew a special beer to commemorate the 100th anniversary of their first Belgian championship. The beer was called Cuvée 1904. It was renamed to Cuvée des Champions to commemorate Saint Gilloise’s promotion to the 2nd division in 2004/2005 season. But after several less than stellar seasons, the beer was downgraded to just Cuvée Saint Gilloise.
It features, the beer not the football club, 2-year-old lambic and fresh Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops. To spark fermentation in bottle, a small dose of sugar is added. Without young lambic with its residual sugar, the beer would be still without something for the yeast to eat in the bottle for carbonation production.
Appearance: Hazy gold, beige head, poor retention.
Aroma: Light pickle note, earthy. lime, horsey, fruity, grassy, pineapple.
Taste: Tart, lime, pineapple, lightly funky.
Overall Impression: Cantillon is always consistent and tasty. What seems like a fairly common concept now, hopped sours, was a fairly new concept in 2004. The classic European hops make a nice highlight with the bright and tart lambic. Hops and Cantillon? You probably can’t find two more popular things in one bottle! And it’s super tasty beer.
Availability: Extremely limited and hunted.
Note: Special Thanks to Kevin of Belgian Beer Geek for this bottle!