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. Taras Boulba is definitely on the lower end of the alcohol spectrum. They simply refer to it as an extra hoppy ale.
Appearance: Cloudy pale blonde, white head, good retention.
Aroma: Pepper, lemongrass, pine, herbal, thyme, woodsy.
Taste: Herbal, with lively carbonation and a creamy/velvety mouthfeel.
Overall Impression: Taras Boulba has a nice refreshing hop bitterness and crisp drinkability that would make this a perfect summer session beer. American hop fans could almost think of this as fitting into the category of session IPA. The hops are nicely present but still have a nice European character to them that is balanced by some good Belgian yeast notes. Keep an eye out for this beer and brewery, I’m excited to try more of their offerings.
Availability: In small quantities where available. This is still a very small and expanding brewery. Imported by Shelton Brothers.
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.