Brouwerij Eutropius - Oscar Blond
- ABV: 6%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 43-48° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Snifter, Goblet
- Hops: Cascade, Hallertau Mittelfrüh
This is the beer that started it all: the first truly successful beer that Wouter Vermeersch brewed on his homebrewing system, which was widely enjoyed by not only himself but also his homebrewing friends. This Belgian blonde ale presents a hazy golden hue in the glass, capped by a crop of off-white foam. On the nose, look for biscuit and doughy bready notes, light caramel, and toast, overlaid with apple-like esters and hoppy character in the realm of mild lemony citrus and floral, earthy tones, light herbal spice, and a bit of a hay-like impression. On the palate, we enjoyed the bold core of prominent caramel, honey, and biscuit, which retains a little residual sweetness. Some fruity esters meld with a dash of hoppy citrus peel, while a Hallertau-like spice overtone and mild-to-moderate hop bitterness adds a balancing counterpoint in concert with some lightly peppery yeast character and some lifting carbonation. For food pairings, we'd steer towards lightly spiced dishes like shrimp scampi, chicken parmigiana, and earthy bloomy rind cheeses like Brie and Camembert. Cheers!
Wouter Vermeersch had his first beer in 2004 at age 16, and it wasn't exactly love at first sip. But as he was exposed to more beers a passion began to build, culminating in him setting up a homebrewing system in his (very tolerant) parents' garage. It took a few months, but eventually his skills developed and the beer that flowed from this fledgling operation was, according to the brewery, "actually not that bad." To set himself on a course for a career in brewing, Wouter went to college to study brewing engineering, graduating in summer of 2010. About a year later, in June 2011, he opened his own brewery, Brouwerij Eutropius, in Heule at the previous site of Brouwerij Alvinne after they moved to Moen.
In summer of 2012, Wouter met and began dating Barbara Pratz, whose background was in marketing. At first she had no interest in Wouter's project, but eventually he won her over and she joined Eutropius in 2014, adding her business skills to his brewing skills. In 2016, the couple moved their brewery to a larger facility in Menen, West Flanders, near the border with France. The new brewery features a shop and a "tasting attic" for visitors to sample all the brewery's beers.
Today, Eutropius brews five beers under their own label, but a large part of their business comes from other brewers who hire them under contract—quite an affirmation of their brewing acumen. Eutropius produces over 50 beers for other brewers, and they hope to grow this part of their business even more. We can't help but see parallels between these young upstarts and the famous De Proef Brouwerij in East Flanders, which is known not just for their own excellent beers, but also for the many, many beers brewed there by other brewers throughout Belgium. We're thrilled to bring our members one of Eutropius' excellent beers this month, and are excited to watch them grow in the future.
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