Quick, think of a beer that has really small bubbles. Like, micro-bubbles. With me? Yeah, I thought so. I knew you would know about DeuS (Brut des Flanders) from the epic Bosteels Brewery in Belgium. Indeed, long before Microcarbonationtm came along, those wacky Belgians already had a corner on the market. You see, whenever people talk about small bubbles in carbonation, they generally refer to “Champagne-like bubbles”, and Champagne does indeed, have very fine bright bubbles that somehow manage to be both active and smooth. But if you know anything about Champagne, you know that, like “Trappist”, “Cognac”, etc, they are immensely protective of the name “Champagne”. Ever had a Champagne from Canada? No you haven’t, and if the label said it was, they were damn liars. It’s not even good enough that a sparkling wine come from France, or even specifically from the region Champagne. No, to be called Champagne, it must be made with grapes grown on specific plots within the appellation in the Champagne region, then produced using a secondary bottle-fermentation as per rules set out by the appellation, again, all while in the region of Champagne.
So why the mini history lesson? Well, nobody for a moment, would suggest something made with grains like malted barley was even wine, let alone Champagne. However, DeuS (Latin for “God”) is known as a Bière de Champagne. It undergoes it’s secondary fermentation in Épernay in Champagne, France, and is then cellared for 9 months, just like it’s vinous older cousin. The process is good enough to use the name Champagne. Pretend you can hear the distinctive “POP” of the proper Champagne cork exiting the neck of the bottle, and let’s get on this.
From a caged and corked 750ml Champagne bottle, DeuS pours a clear straw yellow, with a classic generous frothy champagne head. A good 2″ of loose foam dropped to a nice 1/2″ layer that laced the glass well. Aroma is so enticing, Belgian yeast/spices hinting at coriander, apples, apricots and peaches. Hints of grass and grape skins. Can I just drink it now?! There is a big shot of the Belgian yeast in the taste, more spices and esters. Now I’m clearly getting coriander as well as white pepper. Apples are very clear, and are just slightly tart. There is grassy hops that add a touch of dryness, which balances the sweet candy sugars that provide a solid body for the beer. There is also a touch of white grapes and pears. Oh My! Finish is just off-dry, with a whisper of that sugar lingering. The mouthfeel is incredible, and exactly what you would expect from something called Champagne beer. Smooth and full of teeny tiny bubbles. Just perfect.
Buy This Beer
Now available at the LCBO (#290866), though according to the website, it’s not at many stores yet. Just ask your local to bring in a case, as it’s ready and waiting. At $18.40/750ml bottle, you might not buy a case, but it’s definitely the perfect beer to pick up to celebrate, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or just making it to Friday again. It is also in the coolers of many better beer bars around Toronto.
Drink It With
Cheese! We were eating an ash-covered sheep’s milk cheese from the lovely people at Monforte Dairy, but DeuS will work with creamy rich triple bries, tart crumbly chevres and will even hold up well against medium hard cheeses like Gouda or Emmental. If you are putting together a little plate, include some of the fruits that show up in the taste/aroma: apples, peaches, nectarines, apricots, pears, white grapes etc.
About The Brewery
Bosteels Brewery was founded in 1791, in Buggenhout, Belgium. Still family-owned seven generations later, in addition to DeuS, they also make Kwak and Tripel Karmeliet. More information on DeuS here: http://www.bestbelgianspecialbeers.be/main_eng.html