Norfolk and Belgian collaboration brew

Ok, it may sound like a trailer for some sort of fantasy adventure movie with Tim Burton directing matters but it’s actually an exciting summary of a beery adventure. Moon Gazer ale and Brouwerijadept (Brewery Adept) of Leuven, in Flanders are setting out to create something adventurous in dark brewing.

Our two brewing minds have come up with this mad cap / genius idea for a new brew.  (*delete as applicable when you taste it folks)

We just wanted you to be part of the journey from the start.

So, in case you missed it here’s a recap.

As part of this year’s City of Ale festival the fine beer cities of Norwich and Leuven will be twinned thanks to the efforts and vison of beer writer Roger Protz.   As part of this celebration a number of Norfolk brewers visited Flanders to pair up with brewers from Leuven to twin their minds, brewing knowledge and passion to create new beers to feature in the festival and herald in a new era of collaboration and brewing friendships between the two regions.

Moon Gazer has teamed up with Dimitri, founder of Brouweijadpet – with over 25 years of experience with Inbev and Duvel-Moortgat – but who also turns his skills to his own distinctive craft beers.

Dimitri will be visiting Moon Gazer and brewing with us in early February – so we wanted to plan something which brings our passions, skills and history together.

A few years back, Steve and myself brewed a 16th century Hoppenbier recipe to recreate what the good beer drinkers of Flanders would be drinking back then. Think a very hazy beer – made with 98% oats and just a touch of wheat, lemon peel and a sprinkling of French hops.

As a beer, it was very light golden in colour, had a very soft mouthfeel – obviously with the oats – and  a solid citrus flavour. To be fair it was very easy drinking – and arguably 400 years ahead of its time as it was very much of the moment. Our future is our past as they say!

When we first met Dimitri we shared with him a bottle of our Bouchart X 10% abv dark mild which peaked his interest to say the least. In return he shared with us his love of dark beers and also interest in traditional British beer styles.

Well, at the risk of focusing on the obvious a light bulb moment pinged the thought in our heads to craft a hybrid which brings together the best of the Hoppenbier with our strong mild.  So, bring in some Maris Otter barley, some  dark (very dark) malts and pair the French hops with some new variety British hops. Simples.

There is still plenty of work to do – lots more head scratching and bouncing of ideas between Adept and Moon Gazer –however, we hope in early Feb to have finalised our plans and create something new and distinctive.

The journey continues.

Thanks again to Visit Flanders and City of Ale for bringing us all together