Brasserie Meteor - Wendelinus Bière d’Abbaye
Suggested Glassware:Tulip or Snifter
This month we have quite the treat in store for you with Meteor’s Wendelinus “Bière d’Abbaye.” Named after a saint and brewed in the tradition of the monks of Wissembourg, Alsace, this beer pours a clear, deep golden color with a fluffy head that retains well and eventually drops to a persistent collar. The aroma is quite beguiling and very complex: look for a moderately sweet maltiness overlaid by a grassy hop quality, hay, light honey, and an excellent expression of Franco-Belgian-style phenols imparting a wonderful pepper and clove spiciness with a very distinct note of incense and a hint of smoke. On the palate, a residual honey-like sweetness is apparent amidst the caramel-like and somewhat bready malt flavors, along with notes of stone fruits. The moderate hop bitterness is enough to provide a great balancing counterpoint, and, along with a hint of alcohol, helps dry things out from the mid-palate to the finish – which lingers a bit with a spicy, peppery tingle on the tongue. This round, medium-bodied brew offers just the right bite of carbonation to complement the spiciness. Try pairing with lobster tail, crab-stuffed shrimp, or whitefish and baked red potatoes, heavy on the rosemary.
In Alsace, France, along a hilly agricultural area between Strasbourg and Saverne, lies the small town of Hochfelden, home of Brasserie Meteor. The first historical documentation of brewing in the town dates back to the year 870, and brewing was well-established by 1640 when Jean Klein established a brewery in the current location of Brasserie Meteor. The Metzger family came into control of the brewery in 1844, and in 1898 they were joined by marriage to another brewing family, the Haags, who were brewers in the nearby town of Ingwiller. The Haag family continues to own and operate the brewery to this very day. Today they employ 200 people and have distribution throughout France and a powerful brand in Alsace where they are the last independently-owned brewery in the region.
We always find it refreshing to feature an independently-owned, family-run brewery like Brasserie Meteor, where—as they make a point to emphasize—quality, human ethics, and environmental awareness are at the core of their business philosophy. They source the finest malts in France from Beauce, Brie, and Gâtinais, while their hops are sourced locally in Alsace and from the famous noble hop growers of the Czech Republic. We’ll have to take their word on the ethics and environmental issues, but as far as the quality is concerned, that very clearly speaks for itself when you taste their beer. If you would like to learn more (and if you read French), visit www.brasserie-meteor.fr.
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