Brasserie d’Ecaussinnes La Penneffoise
British Columbia has recently begun to improve its selection of craft beers, which is nice to see. However, most of them are merely solid but not overly exciting examples of a particular style. Perhaps I was spoiled by spending 5 months embroiled in California’s thriving micro-brew culture, but my exposure to fine beers in the U.S. changed my perception of what is truly great.
This is all the more reason why I think this Belgian ‘prune’ beer is super. It has a level of complexity and experimentation that you rarely find in the BC market, and, well, it’s just really darn tasty. Being a fruit beer, some might expect this to be based on a weisse style or on the lambic style. It’s not really either of those – instead being a hybrid between a belgian strong ale and a wild ale. The nose on this is fantastic: similar to a geueze lambic or a beer made with brettanomyces yeast, this also has a nice wet forest/cellar smell while pushing subtle belgian fruit esters forward. The prune aroma is subtle but present.
Best of all, this beer is not made with added sugar or in a sickly fruity sweet style. You can still taste the prune and the fruit, but the beer actually finishes dry and wonderful. There is a degree of complex malting going on here that is similar to what Allagash or Lost Abbey do with their beers and something you don’t taste very much in BC. This is very full and robust while being light and creamy in the mouth. The 8% ABV is completely unnoticeable. I’m sipping on this right now and thinking “I love this beer”. If you want to taste a real beer in Vancouver, do not pass this by.
Excellent and Highly Recommended Value
$15 / 750ml at Viti