Brouwerij De Brabandere - Kwaremont Blond
- ABV: 6.6%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 45-52° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Snifter, Goblet
This Belgian Blonde Ale offers a golden-amber hue on the pour, topped by a robust head which drops some lace as it recedes. The aroma of this European Beer Star Competition Silver Medal winner really drew us in with prominent fruity notes reminiscent of mild tangerine, lemon, stone fruits, and a touch of apple. Some moderate hop spice pops through as well. On the palate, we were struck by Kwaremont’s round, supple, and creamy-smooth feel. There’s a noticeable level of residual sweetness enrobing a core of pale and lightly caramelized malts, while the fruity aromas deliver prominently on the palate too – no doubt a result of fruity esters contributed by famously exuberant Belgian yeast. Hops offer a dose of spiciness as a counterpoint to the fruity esters, as well as some bitter balance for the malts. We liked it best on the warmer end of our temperature range, where the beer’s flavors are more fully expressive. Try pairing with blackened fish, spicy chicken salads, or a snack of Gouda, Edam, or Emmentaler. Cheers!
In 1894, Flemish farmer Adolphe De Brabandere requested authorization to build a brewery in a small village in the south of Western Flanders – Bavikhove. Like most farmers of his day, Adolphe knew how to brew beer, and did so at his farmhouse, using his brew for the family’s consumption. Four generations later, Brouwerij De Brabandere (until 2014 known as Brouwerij Bavik) is today as it was then: a family business. The adoption of the family name for the brewery underscores the importance of this fact to the brewery. Despite many corporate buy-outs of numerous Belgian breweries, some as old as 500 years of age, Brouwerij De Brabandere is determined to retain their independence while guaranteeing the same quality, character, and regional specificity that their various beers have enjoyed for almost 125 years.
The brewery’s first principal brewer was Adolphe’s son, Joseph De Brabandere. In 1894 the number of smaller breweries in Belgium was already in decline as a result of the hugely popular Pilsner style of beer. This type of light-colored, bottom-fermented lager quickly superseded Belgium’s traditional local ales in popularity. A true entrepreneur and wise businessman, Joseph De Brabandere capitalized on this new trend in beer drinking and became the most important Pilsner brewer in his region.
The family business enjoyed its successful standing in the region until 1914, when the German army invaded the region and confiscated the brewery, forcing its closure during World War I. Incredibly, after the turmoil and devastation of the war, Joseph was able to restart the brewery. But, with the outbreak of the Second World War, the brewery’s fate was again threatened. Miraculously, Joseph’s wife Gabrielle was able to convince the Germans to keep the brewery open during the war. Eventually, the brewery passed to Joseph and Gabrielle’s children who developed the brewery further through modernization and market expansion. Today, helmed by Ignace De Brabandere and his son, Albert, Brouwerij De Brabandere is the largest brewery of West Flanders, and their immaculate and gleaming stainless steel and old-fashioned copper kettles produce the well-respected Bavik, Petrus, Wittekerke, and Kwaremont lines.
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