Brasserie Dupont - Forêt
Serving Temperature:45-55° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Flute
Earlier this year, we featured Dupont’s flagship Saison in the International and US & International Variety clubs for the first time, and the response was... overwhelming. We shouldn’t have been surprised, as it is the world’s benchmark saison. Normally we wouldn’t return to the same brewery so quickly, but this month we’re making an exception as we had an opportunity to bring you their superb Forêt organic saison and we just couldn’t pass it up. Brewed with organically grown barley and hops, and produced with filtered artesian well water, Forêt blazed a trail as the first 100% certified organic beer to be produced in Belgium when Dupont introduced the beer several years ago.
Forêt presents a lightly hazy golden orange color topped by a cap of fluffy foam. On the nose, we get a complex aroma, as we expect for a Dupont beer. Look for plenty of fruity esters including pomelo-like citrus notes, stone fruits, hints of pear or apple, and touches of melon. Accompanying the fruity character is a nice dose of lightly phenolic spice hinting at clove and white pepper. We picked up a bit of grassy, earthy, and spicy hops, as well, which merge nicely with the spicy yeast-driven notes, and all of which sit atop a core of crackery, bready malt. On the palate, look for the story to continue much the same way, as Forêt opens quite dry, and it stays that way as light hop bitterness, a nice effervescent carbonation from the beer’s long re-fermentation in the bottle, and a touch more alcohol than Dupont’s original Saison team up to easily counter a touch of malt sweetness. Delicious and refreshing on a warm afternoon, Forêt is also food-friendly. We’d steer toward lighter fare with some spice or fruity acidity, such as grilled white fish, shrimp, or chicken with lemon and herbs. A summer salad with a bright vinaigrette, or a snack of washed rind cheeses sound good, as well. Santé!
In reflecting on the provenance and characteristics of classic Belgian saison in his Great Beers of Belgium, our Rare Beer Club’s founder Michael Jackson wrote, “The most famous Saison strain is that of the Dupont brewery. ‘A brewer with the Dupont yeast is touched by God,’ I was told by a proud possessor.” It’s pretty difficult not to be enamored by the beers of Brasserie Dupont.
The Dupont brewery was formally established in 1920 when the father of agronomist Louis Dupont purchased it for his son to discourage him from moving to Canada. Their loss is the beer world’s gain, and Louis found himself with an historical farm-brewery renowned for its seasonal and honey beers, with a heritage extending back to the mid-1700s. Its success only grew in subsequent years. Olivier Dedeycker, the fourth generation of the Dupont family to serve as head brewer, currently runs the show. Since the modest (now-legendary) Dedeycker began there as an engineer in 1990, Brasserie Dupont has gradually expanded its production, initiated regular export (we’ve been drinking much better since 1992), developed a rigorously certified lineup of organic beers, and branched out further with beers like Monk’s Stout and their mind-blowing Gallo-Roman gruit beer, Posca Rustica.
Through all of this, Brasserie Dupont has maintained its time-proven methods and attention to detail. Their extended bottle-conditioning periods provide their beers with a fine-bubbled effervescence and the potential for lengthy cellaring, while their direct-flame kettles continue to instill that (seemingly magical) touch of caramelization. Details matter. Brasserie Dupont is regularly cited as one of the planet’s finest breweries, and Men’s Journal previously declared their Saison Dupont “The Best Beer in the World.” Offerings like the core Saison, the Moinettes, and Avec Les Bons Voeux continue to challenge both American palates (via that spicy Dupont yeast) and American brewers (who make great efforts to replicate its effects here). We are pleased to offer our members this especially tasty offering from Brasserie Dupont, one of the world’s truly inspirational farmhouse breweries.
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