Friday, 5 June 2015

Huyghe Brewery - the home of the pink elephant

The next brewery on the Belgian study tour was Huyghe, the place where they make Delirium tremens. I hadn't heard of Huyghe but I'd definitely heard of Delirium tremens. The beer that is, though come to think of it I did once have an alky boss who's hands would shake uncontrollably at times. Shocking though it is, apparently too much alcohol isn't good for you. 

They had a lovely gleaming copper brew house.

But this is the old one and isn't used anymore.

It was a mash filter and stainless steel vessels in the new brew house.

Delirium tremens turned the fortunes of the company around, and they've clearly invested a lot of money in new kit.

There was quite a lot to the bottling line too.

 And the fermenters were pretty hefty.

As this was the third brewery of the day and Belgian beers being what they are my notes are somewhat lacking for this place, though a cup of tea once we got back to the hotel revived me in time for our evening lecture.

We had Roger Mussche, a Belgian brewing consultant, giving us a talk. Not only did he clearly know his stuff, he was also very opinionated which always adds to the interest.

A particular gem was when he classified Cantillon not as a lambic brewery but as a vinegar brewery (apparently their beers have ten times the amount of acetic acid as other lambics). I went round Cantillon many years ago and loved the place but I must admit he has got a point. It's ages since I bought their beers as I really can't take much of it and the altogether fruitier and lets face it, less sour, beers of Boon are now my lambics of choice.

The history of when different fruits were added to lambics was also a bit of an eye opener, and much more modern than I thought.

Sadly time constraints meant his lecture had to be cut short as I'm sure he could have gone on for hours. He did say he's email the slides over but sadly I haven't seen anything yet. I'll let you know if they ever arrive.

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