Brasserie St-Feuillien - Quad
Serving Temperature:50-55° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Teku, Goblet
Like St-Feuillien’s Seven, their Quad is a bottle-conditioned beer that may have some yeast sediment, and some foam may begin rising from the bottle when opened, so be ready with your glass. Visually, this quadruple/quadrupel (either spelling is acceptable) looks the part, and it looks good, presenting a reddish-brown mahogany color topped by plenty of light brown foam. On the nose, expect a richly malty, but also spicy and fruity brew. We get deep layers of caramelization, prominent dark and dried fruits conjuring thoughts of raisin, fig, black cherry, and prune, along with a very Belgian spicy-herbal yeast character overlaying it all. Look for the malts to come through massive and expansive on the palate, with moderately sweet tones of caramel and a deep and dark – almost cake-like – breadiness with a hint of cocoa. The dark fruity esters are equally expansive and indulgent. Contrasting with and balancing those decadent qualities are the sharper tones brought by some spicy-herbal hop bitterness, the spicy, phenolic yeast-driven character, and generous booziness from the elevated 11% ABV. Quads are among our favorite styles in the cooler months of the year, and we enjoy them all by themselves, often as a nightcap. But, food pairings are certainly possible with dishes big enough to stand up to the beer. Smoked meats, including venison or other game, are a good call. Lamb chops with a dark cherry glaze, and roasted pork loin with a prune sauce with roasted veggies sound great to us. A variety of creamy cheeses can pair nicely too, as can rich dark and fruity desserts. Santé!
In the year 655, an Irish monk named Foillan was killed by bandits while traveling through the dense forest near the town of Le Roeulx, Belgium, and over the subsequent years and centuries his followers and pilgrims would come to the place of his demise to build a chapel and ultimately an abbey named in his honor, albeit with a French language twist. The monastery was home to about thirty to forty monks who brewed traditional abbey-style beer until the French Revolution, which saw the widespread condemnation, oppression, and disbanding of religious establishments, including the abbey of Saint-Feuillien (pronounced like “foo-yen”).
The brewery that is today known as St-Feuillien began in 1873, founded by a lady named Stéphanie Friart. She considered her brewery an extension of the abbey’s lost brewing tradition, and the brewery won multiple awards for their beers at international exhibitions. In the early 20th century, the brewery passed from Stéphanie into the hands of her nephew, Benoît Friart, who would go on to run the brewery for decades. In 1920 he acquired a more modern brewing facility in the heart of the city and he moved much of the beer production there, although both facilities continued producing beer until 1939. He was also responsible for the introduction of the brewery’s famous and very well-regarded St-Feuillien Blonde. After WWII, the company was taken over by Benoît’s son, also named Benoît, and under his leadership a number of new beers were introduced. During the mid-1990’s, St-Feuillien refurbished their original 19th century brewing facilities, and this was followed by an expansion from 2006-2009.
Fast forward to today and the brewery is celebrating its 150 year anniversary, and is still in the hands of the Friart family: the brother and sister team of Benoît and Dominique Friart, the great-grand-nephew & niece of founder Stéphanie Friart. They are members of Belgian Family Brewers, an association which represents twenty-one family-owned breweries in Belgium which are devoted to keeping the country’s brewing traditions alive. Members include such other luminaries as Dupont, Duvel, Huyghe, and Sint Bernardus, just to name a few of the association’s many other well-known traditional Belgian producers. St-Feuillien currently produces a wide array of traditional Belgian ales including Blonde, Brune, Triple, Quadruple, Grisette, and Saison, along with some less traditionally Belgian beers like their dry-hopped Belgian Coast IPA and a 92-proof American oak-aged whiskey-like liquor made from beer which has been triple distilled. For more info, visit them at st-feuillien.com/en.
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