Belg SA at Capital Craft Beer Festival
Capital Craft Beer Fest 2019
This weekend, on the 15th of June 2019, the 7th annual Capital Craft Beer Festival will take place at the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens. Over the last few years, Capital Craft Beer Festival has established itself as an indispensable part of the Pretoria social calendar not to be missed as 10 000 beer and music lovers congregate in the beautiful natural scenery offered by the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens.
I caught up with Belg SA, who will be bringing a few brands to the festival this year, to find out more:
The Capital Craft Beer Fest 2019 is around the corner, and you guys are bringing a couple of brands to the event – please introduce us to the three different brands, namely St Louis, La Trappe and De Poes? How did each of these originate; Can you share a little bit of history with me?
In 1958, the City of Brussels hosted the World Exhibition. In the shadow of the Atomium, Luc Van Honsebrouck launched the Saint Louis Gueuze and the Kriek and followed up with other fruit beers. The Saint Louis Fond Tradition oude gueuze and kriek hark back to the pure tradition of lambic beers. These two are spontaneously fermented beers; no yeast is added during the brewing process. ‘Spontaneous’ or ‘wild’ fermentation indicates that the wort starts fermenting on its own as soon as it comes in contact with specific microflora that is present in the air. This ‘spontaneous’ fermentation takes place in the open basin that is used to cool down the hot wort overnight. The lambic will spend several months fermenting and turns sour in the process. Its acidity is characteristic of the unmalted wheat in the beer. Lambic starts off as a flat beer. It will only start to sparkle and produce a froth once it has re-fermented in the bottle. In that case, we are talking about a gueuze. All of the Saint Louis fruit beers are based on lambic, blended either with fruit juice or entire krieken cherries.
The name “La Trappe” originates from the French abbey Notre-Dame de la Grande Trappe in Normandy Soligny-la-Trappe, Also known as La Trappe. In the late 1800s French Trappist Monks were exiled from France and found refuge in Berkel-Enschot in the Netherlands, consisting of some moorland with farmhouses and a sheep barn. The farmhouses were named the koningshoeven (meaning the king`s farmhouses in Dutch), after the former owner King Willem II who donated the land to the monks. The monastery was erected on this site and is until today still in use. The Trappist brewery was established in 1884, now being the home to the range of the renowned La Trappe Trappist Ales.
The story of brewery De Poes dates back to 2012. Stijn David, who was trained as a baker and dietician, decided to further pursue his passion for food and beer in particular. Brewery De Poes was founded in 2014 and was named after the brewer`s favourite pet.
Which beer from each of these is the most popular?
St Louis Premium Kriek (kriek is Flemish for cherry) is the all-around favourite amongst the fruit beers. It`s a cherry beer made on a Lambic base and a quarter of the St Louis Premium kriek is the juice of Oblocinska cherries that have been steeped in Lambic beer for 6 months. It`s very fruity with a hint of sourness and slight touches of almond coming from the cherry stones.
La Trappe Blond is the most accessible of the La Trappe range and therefore the most popular. With 6,5 ABV it`s also one of the ”lighter” beers of the La Trappe line up. This speciality beer has fruity and refreshing aromas. It`s a tingling ale with a slightly sweet, softly bitter and malty taste.
De Poes Belgian Export Pilsner has been locally brewed according to a strict Belgian recipe by the brewer in Belgium, Stijn David. This easy to drink Pilsner with 4.8% ABV has a typical Belgian character thanks to the secondary fermentation in the bottle (or keg) which gives the beer a very subtitle carbonation with a very pleasant mouthfeel.
And which do you think is the most underrated?
St Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition is a pure traditional gueuze aimed at connoisseurs. It has the pure taste of a true gueuze based on a blend of young and old lambics. When tasting, the slightly sour touches, characteristic of Lambic beers, make their presence felt. It`s very dry in the finish. As sour beers are not very well known in South Africa yet, this style is an acquired taste and therefore the most underrated in the range.
La Trappe Quadrupel is the flagship of La Trappe and was baptized by the monks in 1991. A closely guarded recipe became reality, and the first Quadrupel beer in the world was born. At 10% ABV this ale might be scaring some of the South Africans away… We will have limited stock of Quadrupel on tap at Capital Craft so stop by to try this amazing amber ale.
De Poes Belgian Strong Ale is an unfiltered blond high-fermentation beer with secondary fermentation in the bottle. This beer is fruity with a slight sense of alcohol at the back of the tongue. The used herbs provide a pleasant freshness and the reference to flowers and citrus. This 8% strong ale is imported from the brewery in Belgium hence is more pricy than it`s sibling De Poes Pilsner. As the speciality beers with higher alcohol and subsequently higher pricing are less known in SA, it also very underrated.
With so many beers on tap at the festival, why should we come to try these beers; What makes each brand different?
The St Louis Premium Kriek is a must-try. This Belgian cherry beer has been made only with the best ingredients and has proven to be a favourite amongst the ladies.
La Trappe Blond is the best introduction to the Trappist beers. Brewed by the monks since the 1800`s this style is one to try. These unique beers are brewed with patience, passion and traditional craftsmanship according to the secret recipes of the monks.
De Poes Belgian Export Pilsner. Besides the controversial name for South Africans, this pilsner will keep you coming back for more! Any lager drinker will not be disappointed getting a taste of this one!
Capital Craft Beer Fest 2019 Details
Date: Saturday, 15 June 2019
Venue: Pretoria National Botanical Gardens, Pretoria
Time: 10H00 – 19H00
Price: R140 – R200
Bookings: Buy Tickets