Brouwerij Het Nest - Poker Face
Serving Temperature:40-45° F
Known as witbier, or "white beer," due to the cloudy nature of this type of unfiltered wheat beer, this style is similar in some ways to another unfiltered, yeasty "white beer" – Bavarian weissbier, or hefeweizen. The Belgians brew their white beer differently, though, choosing to augment the natural herbal flavors with a dose of coriander and orange peel. Het Nest's entry into the style, Poker Face, certainly looks the part, presenting a very hazy straw color capped by plenty of bright foam. On the nose, look for a classic witbier aroma including yeast-driven herbal phenolic notes which merge seamlessly with the coriander additions to deliver a brightly herbal character. Curaçao orange peel lends citric notes to complement the wheaty undertones. These notes all play out prominently in the flavor department too, with a bright, refreshing, and somewhat floral character. There's a big, tangy, wheaty core here that provides an ample stage for those coriander and orange notes to shine. The yeasty herbal tones are bolstered by impressions of bubblegum and light banana, and the whole thing comes together in a medium-bodied package that hits the spot on a warm day as it culminates in a refreshing, mildly tart finish. For pairing options, we like seafood dishes including fish tacos, steamed mussels, and fish & chips, as well as Mediterranean salads with feta, white pizzas, green curries, and even omelets. Santé!
The story of Brouwerij Het Nest (The Nest Brewery) begins in 2000 with the formation of a local beer tasting club in Turnhout, Belgium. The members whimsically called their group “The Order of the Drunken Sparrow,” and designed a logo featuring two sparrows in a nest – with a beer, of course. They met every couple of weeks to enjoy the incredible local beers that Belgium has to offer, and to discuss such pressing issues as soccer and women. As often happens with these sorts of groups, merely tasting beer was eventually not enough. By 2006, several of the friends had decided to study brewing at the local brewers guild and take up homebrewing in earnest.
Eventually, though, amateur brewing would give way to professional brewing as more and more people began having the opportunity to try the beers, and demand subsequently increased. The team's 50-liter brewing system would not suffice, so for the next few years they partnered with local breweries, renting time on the equipment of Brouwerij Boelens, 't Hofbrouwerijke, and Scheldebrouwerij in order to produce the quantities needed. After years of hard work, Het Nest was able to build and move in to their very own, brand new, top-of-the-line, modern brewery in Turnhout in 2015.
As the city of Turnhout has long been one of the world's largest producers of playing cards, Brouwerij Het Nest adopted playing cards as a theme, giving their beers such names as SchuppenBoer (Jack of Spades), HertenHeer (King of Hearts), KoekeDam (Queen of Diamonds), and more. In 2014, we had the distinct pleasure of featuring Het Nest's KleverTien (Ten of Clubs) in our Rare Beer Club. That big 10% ABV Quadrupel was a big hit with our members and our tasting panel, and since then we've been looking forward to having the opportunity to feature one of Het Nest's beers again. That time has finally arrived, and this time it's our International and U.S. & International club members who are the lucky recipients. For more info about the brewery, visit www.brouwerijhetnest.be.
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