Everyone seems to like the idea of a collaboration beer. They’ve become a drinkable symbol of the cooperative and friendly ideals of the craft beer movement. The bigger the names of the brewery, the bigger the excitement about the release. Sometimes the beer lives up to the hype, many times it doesn’t. As a fan of Belgian beers, rarely do collaboration beers set my beery heart to pitter pattering. I just don’t drink that much American beer, nor do I drink IPAs very often. In today’s craft beer collaboration environment, IPAs are king and thus two craft brewers working together want to bond over hoppy executions.
Brasserie Dupont‘s collaboration with California’s Lost Abbey is the exception to my usual ambivalence to most collaboration beers. Lost Abbey is one of the pioneering breweries to create Belgian-style beers in America. Dupont is one of Wallonia’s classic breweries and is credited with helping to save the Saison style from extinction (with the help of their importer who found a huge market for the beer in the US). Together, this collaboration holds potential. Brewed in Belgium, the beer is made with an American hops, specifically Amarillo and Simcoe. Together, Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey and Olivier Dedeycker of Dupont created a traditional Belgian Saison with an American designer hop character.
Appearance: Hazy dark blond, off white head, great retention.
Aroma: Earthy, mango, hay, grassy, tropic fruit, citrus rind, biscuit, coconut.
Taste: Mango, fruity, tropical, earthy undertones, white pepper.
Overall Impression: Dry, crisp, effervescent, and creamy; Deux Amis is fundamentally a Belgian Saison. The use of American hops was both deft and light handed. They’re present but entirely integrated into the whole. The “dirtier” aroma aspects of the Simcoe hop balance in nicely with the funky nature of the house Dupont yeast. The American “tropical fruit” hop character of both the Amarillo and Simcoe hops take the typically earthy/herbal nature of European hops and put that fun American designer hop twist on it. This is a great collaboration between two breweries and two philosophies of brewing. The beer takes the best parts of both parties and creates a very tasty beer, one well worth seeking out.
Availability: This is a limited release. Look for it where other Total Beverage Solutions beers are sold.
Disclosure: I manage the TBS portfolio for the company that represents the importer in Oregon.
You can read more Brasserie Dupont reviews on my page dedicated to their brewery.