“Champagne” Beer & Beer Tapas

Let the festivities begin!

Well my petit chums the end of year is approaching & Secret Squirrel Beer Detective is wishing you a Joyeux Noël & Bonne Année or Hoppy Xmas & a Beery New Year!  I don’t know about you, but myself & Madame le Squirrel are getting organised with our Christmas food & beer now & are starting to think about New Year feasting. Also, you never know when you may need to feed unexpected gatherings in that No-Mans-Land between Christmas & New Year. So here are some ideas to think about that we will be trying this year.

“CHAMPAGNE” BEER To celebrate I won’t be popping the cork of the traditional bubbles, but opening a gorgeous Deus Brut des Flandres (see tasting note below), a Bière Brut’ from the Bosteels Brewery in Belgium. Bosteels also make Kwak beer, famous for its quirky mini yard of ale glass in a wooden holder (there is a great story behind this too, but we will have to wait for another time). Deus is an Ale Beer brewed in Belgium & then transported to the Champagne region of France, where it is re-fermented with a special yeast culture that is also used for Champagne & sparkling wines. The beer is then finished off in a similar style to the wine, including performing the ‘remuage’ (shaking and turning of the bottles) and ‘dégorgement’ (removal of the yeast or the lees). Officially we can’t call it a Champagne Beer as some French winemakers get a bit touchy about that, but if you don’t tell, I won’t either.

BEER TAPAS To go with this effervescent, aromatic nectar from the Beer Gods I will be serving Bapas or Hoppas, a new trend that combines beer and tapas, so basically beer served with little plates of tasty morsels of food designed to share. I have also suggested some other Bapas/Hoppas combinations to try:

Blinis with smoked salmon, salmon caviar, dill & a dash of lemon + Deus Brut des Flandres served chilled in a Champagne flute

Oysters Kilpatrick + Budweiser Budvar Dark served chilled in a big red wineglass

Broccoli & pumpkin tempura with soy and mirin dipAsahi Beer served chilled in a straight glass

Fig & goats cheese puffs + Liefmans Fruitesse served chilled in a champagne flute

Roast beef in mini Yorkshire puddings with horseradish dressing + Black Sheep Ale served at room temperature in a straight glass

Lychee and lime sorbet + Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier served chilled in a champagne flute (you could add some of the beer to the sorbet)

These beers are available from most supermarkets. I bought mine from Waitrose.

Deus Brut des Flandres
Overall impression A unique, elegant and effervescent, straw-coloured Belgian Bière Brut with a delicate yet complex aroma of mixed fruit and exotic spices, followed by a bubbly fruity sweetness mingled with gingery lychee flavours & an everlasting dry finish showcasing an Champagne-like alcoholic complexity
Food Match Smoked salmon, lemon pannacotta
Beer info  
Colour Blond
Origin Belgium, Flanders, Buggenhout
Brewery Bosteels brewery
Unique ingredients Yeast culture used for Champagne or Sparkling Wine
ABV% 11.5%
Beer style Belgian Bière Brut Ale Beer
Serving tips Best served between 2 – 4 °C in a Champagne flute
Tasting note  
Appearance Straw coloured/Crystal Clear/Effervescent/Meringue-like head
Aroma Delicate/Complex – Perfumed mixture of fruit and spices
Mouth feel Strong/Medium bodied/Bubbly/Dry
Taste Sweet/Spicy/Sour
Flavour Fruity/Ginger/Lychee/Hint of tannin
Finish Lingering dry
For more info bestbelgianspecialbeers.be
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