t Hofbrouwerijke - Hofblues

t Hofbrouwerijke - Hofblues

Beer Club featured in Rare Beer Club

Style:

Belgian Stout

Country:

Belgium

Alcohol by Volume:

approx. 5.5%

t Hofbrouwerijke - Hofblues

  • Alcohol by Volume: approx. 5.5%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 52-60° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass, Mug, Stein
Heads up: this one’s a ‘foamer,’ so be ready to pour right after popping the swivel top, lest you run the risk of having beer erupting out of the bottle. This Belgian Stout pours an ultra deep brown, nearly black color, with a massive medium-brown head. First thing our panel noticed was that this beer has the nose of a much bigger, 8+% ABV Imperial Stout, but at only 5.5%. Is it legal to have this much flavor jam packed into a “session” beer? Expect notes of chocolate pudding, fudge, orange-infused cocoa, plums coated in roasted coffee bean oils, anise, and a mildly peppery, woody hoppiness in this beer’s amazingly aromatic bouquet. Despite its moderate ABV, notes of alcohol jump out, sharpened by the hops and roasted malts. Flavors of roasted coffee are apparent, but relatively subdued—black patent malt notes come through with a slight acidity and dry stout style notes. Nuances of ginger-like spice, plums, dark berries (currants), spruce, and faint suggestions of vanilla, gin and leather round out the flavor profile. Finishes with a bit more coffee than chocolate, and woody hop notes. Vastly complex, and nice that it brings the flavor of a big, badass imperial stout without all the alcohol, meaning you can take your fill from this big bottle without gettin’ loaded. Pair with chicken mole or a chocolate-filled sweet crepe.
It was over 20 years ago when Jef Goetelen brewed his very first beer. He was so disappointed with the result, he poured it down the drain. He did do some follow up research to understand why his first beer was not the success he had hoped for. But after figuring it out, he took a break from brewing—a break that lasted 15 years. In other words, he didn’t quit his day job. In 2001 his passion for brewing was rekindled when his job got him back in touch with his original set of brewing buddies. The group decided to enroll in the Ceria-Coovi Brewing School in Brussels, where Jef hoped to get over his bad beer trauma of 15 years before. Sure enough, his next brew, brewed in the style of a Tripel, was right on the money. That successful batch led to countless additional batches, where Jef honed his craft and developed into a rather accomplished homebrewer while a member of the nearest Brewer’s Guild he could find. Located in Mol, Belgium, it was an hour’s drive from his home in Beerzel, but his involvement in the guild gave him access to their brewing facility and the opportunity to learn as he experimented with numerous recipes and various beer styles. Eventually the commute wore on him, and the idea of setting up a brewery near his home began to seem like a viable alternative to the drive. So, this once gun shy brewer made the decision to build his own brewery—quite a transition! Ultimately he found what he calls “a perfect spot” near his home, and ‘t Hofbrouwerijke was born. In the end, the brewery ended up being slightly larger scale and more professional than what he had first envisioned, but it’s allowed him to brew his own beers and have enough to share with the world. Plus, he’s created the opportunity for folks in his former position who are interested in brewing to use his facility to brew on a larger scale than your typical 5-gallon homebrew set up. Despite having a professional brewery, Jef considers brewing just a hobby that got a bit out of hand. He still has fun with it, and brews some great beers using traditional methods. This month, we’re featuring Jef’s darkest beer, a rich, roasty, full-bodied Belgian stout. Enjoy! If you’d like more information about the brewery, visit their website at http://www.thofbrouwerijke.be.
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