Far From India: India Pale Ales in the 21st Century. De Dochter Van de Korenaar Belle-Fleur India Pale Ale. Baarle-Hertog, Antwerp, Belgium.
Date: March 12, 2019
The Story— We’ve learned a whole lot about beer in the more than 40 years we’ve hunted (tip o’ the hat, Michael) them seriously. Still, it’s amazing what we’ve overlooked that’s actually pretty basic beer awareness. We don’t think in this era of beer explosion there’s anyone that couldn’t say the same. One reason we push ourselves to do a beer of the day is that it pushes us to learn more about beers that we have admired.
De Dochter Van de Korenaar is a mom and pop, Monique and Roland Mengerin to be exact, brewery near Antwerp. Barely more than a decade old, they’ve won a slew of medals and have richly earned them. We’ve tasted eight of their beers, all subject to the wilds of import shipping, and almost all have scored well above average — even for Belgian craft beer.
De Dochter Van de Korenaar translates roughly to “Daughter of the Ear of Corn” But it’s important to remember that “corn” in Europe means grain – and in this case barley. It’s more or less the way the 16th century Charles V expressed his preference for beer over the “blood of grapes” – wine. A visit to this couple’s gift of grain brewery is on our bucket list.
The Beer— Massive floral hops and a dry papery tripel-ish metal yeast. Flowers and funk frolic in the finish. These brewers have found a way of capturing Belgian tradition and marrying it to exciting 21st century craft.
Value — Very Good. The beer could command far higher prices and diminish its audience. We’re grateful they’ve left it in range of a couple of non-profit employees who really appreciate great beer.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.