Brasserie Artisinale et Didactique du Flo - Cuvée du Flo Blonde

Brasserie Artisinale et Didactique du Flo - Cuvée du Flo Blonde

Beer Club featured in Rare Beer Club

Style:

Belgian Blonde Ale

Country:

Belgium

Alcohol by Volume:

7.50%

Brasserie Artisinale et Didactique du Flo - Cuvée du Flo Blonde

  • Alcohol by Volume: 7.50%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Trappist Glass, Tulip or Tumbler
Class is in session… Cuvée du Flo Blonde pours a dirty gold, butterscotch color and is pretty well hazed due to some fine sediment off the bottle bottom, courtesy of the natural conditioning in the vessel. It’s capped by a very “vocal”, snappy-sounding, off white head that starts about two fingers thick and fades to a solid covering and well-lacing collar.

Hey you, in the back—Attention S’il vous plait!

On the nose, expect big malts, with a bit of butterscotch, and hints of apples and other fruity esters. There is a subtle tartness implied in the aroma, hinting toward sourness. At the same time, it smells rich and even a bit creamy.

Anyone getting anything else?

There’s a distinct thread in there that we should all know and love in our small, bucolically-brewed beers.

Anyone? Yes, you in the front…

That’s right, there’s a wonderfully authentic earthiness and even a touch of “barnyardy” must. We also get some hints of lime meringue and unripe bananas, with plenty of floral hops coming through as well. For those advanced tasters out there, you might also detect powdered aspirin (akin to flavored children’s aspirin, actually). Take note folks, this is a wonderfully complex beer—we’ve only just described the appearance and aroma!

The flavor is quite forward, even a bit rustic and charmingly rough around the edges. Expect a very sprtizy/carbonated beer, which can help sharpen things up a bit. Fruity notes dominate, reminding us of over ripened oranges and maybe even papaya—but with quite a bit of yeast-derived esters at play, there are going to be additional tropical fruit notes that may change over time. Look for lightly toasted, caramel focused malts. The farmhouse-like notes in the aroma show up in the flavor profile as a firmly rooted funkiness, but it remains subtle, coming over more as an earthy mustiness. This beer is sweet-leaning, overall, but not cloying. Cross an orange with a banana and a smattering of cloves, and you get a pretty good idea of the major players on the palate. Though there’s much more at work here.

Anyone else have anything they’d like to add?

Yes, we agree with that, there are some spice notes, including very subtle suggestions of ginger and cloves.

Anyone else?

Yes, very good, there are some notes of honeycomb (wax included—in fact, there’s a fair amount of scented wax-like flavor at play here) and a touch of plastic-like phenols. Are these flaws? Not at all, it’s the result of wonderfully expressive yeast, and it all works together quite pleasantly. At times, we found that the alcohol broke through, giving a nice little bit of warming in the belly. Cuvée du Flo Blonde finishes with notes of plantains and rose petals. Overall, this medium-to-full bodied brew is layered with rustic intensity. Its appearance in the Rare Beer Club represents the very first time that it has been distributed outside of the small Belgian region where it's made. As you read about earlier, this is handmade by a very small brewery, and even though there will be a little bit available outside of our club, there’s just not much to go around, so this will remain a difficult to come by brew. In addition, our members will get it approximately 4 months before it can be found, in very limited quantities, elsewhere in the US. So enjoy your private study sessions with this brew folks—you’re already well ahead of the curve. Class dismissed.
Rare beer—it’s what you want and love. And we love finding it for you. Not only does it make our jobs that much more fun, we get to learn a lot about beer and the wonderful people that make it for us. Whether intentional or not, brewers are teachers of sorts; we have learned so much from our favorites. Be it how to taste and enjoy beer, to the traditions of malting, ingredients-sourcing, brewing and containerizing, to how to just let it rip, take risks, and break those traditions. We’ve seen time and time again from breweries, brewers and beers that couldn’t be more disparate in composition, a common leitmotif: bringing people together. That camaraderie is one of the greatest attributes embedded in the culture of better beer. Drinkers and fans instantly have something in common—an appreciation of beer. Local breweries and pubs, or beer cafés, help further unite people by providing a place for people to come together and engage in social activities. While we can’t bring you to these places or situations, we try to bring those beers to you, and encourage you to get together with friends, family, new acquaintances, other club members etc., and keep those traditions fresh, even reinventing them in your own hometown. After all, helping to teach others is one of the very best ways to learn. For this month’s selection, we’ve sourced a rare beer made in a small town in eastern Wallonia (about an hour from Brussels). But this brewery takes teaching to a whole other level. Brasserie Artisinale et Didactique du Flo is open to the public, perfectly fit for community forum, where it occupies the premises of the old town hall. The "didactic" part in their name comes in because of the fact that owner and brewer, Didier Cornet, allows people to come to the brewery to try their hand at brewing. Acting as a sort of local brew-teacher, he offers visitors the opportunity to discover the art of brewing beer, from the crushing of malt all the way through to the bottling. It’s all done in their unbelievably small brewery that also doubles as the village café. Brasserie du Flo EntranceAll of the beers with “du Flo” in the name are brewed by Didier, personally, but there are other brands brewed there that are attempts by other folks—in many cases, immigrants from the African continent (principally the Maghreb), many of whom have fled their homes during the Arab Spring. This helping hand allows them to learn some useful skills. It comes without surprise that Didier is a social worker by trade and brews as a hobby; commendably, he’s married the two to do some real good for people. At the time that we lined up this month’s Rare Beer, the du Flo beers were only sold locally, and at a couple of shops in Brussels, so, an uncommon find indeed. Yearly output is something under around 125 barrels, which is less than 4,000 gallons—which is just an incredibly small volume for a commercial brewery. All of the beer is made by hand, by a fellow who is passionate about making beer the old way, while doing some good deeds in the process. What a guy! Makes us want to go back to school… For now, we’ll have to settle on a little bit of studying abroad, at home, with a couple bottles of Cuvée du Flo Blonde. One glass in, and we’re feeling smarter already! On a final note, we want to extend our thanks to the importer behind getting these beers into the US: Shelton Brothers (www.sheltonbrothers.com). Not only are these folks bringing in some of the best beers from around the world, their efforts support the little guys, like Didier Cornet of this month’s featured brewery. We like that, but in this case, it goes a step further, by supporting a brewer who is helping others through his good social works.
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