Urthel Saisonnière wins WBA 2010 Europe's Best Seasonal Pale Ale!
One of the most interesting breweries in all of Belgium or Holland has to be Urthel. The world-class beers are designed and brewed by Hildegard Van Ostaden and the artwork and packaging are creative masterpieces of her husband, Bas. Together they have become two of the most well-known and liked of all Belgian brewers in the United States, frequently taking part in festivals and events and can almost always been seen together, trying new beers and meeting new people.
Since autumn of 2006, all of Hildegard's beers have been produced at Koningshoeven in Tilburg, Holland.
WBA 2010 Europe's Best Seasonal Pale Ale!
Saisonnière is brewed with 20% wheat for a style-shifting beer that is part Saison, part wheat beer and part golden/pale ale. Like the best of Hildegard's beers, Saisonnière is deceptively simple on first sip and elegantly simple with a gently building complexity.
Hildegard returned from the Anchorage Barleywine Festival inspired by the wonderfully hoppy beers she tried there. Barleywines, IPA, Double IPA and all manner of over-the-top beers sparked her creative impulse and the result is Hop-It. Brewed with only one malt (pils) and three hops (Saaz, Styrian Goldings and Magnum), it's a truly unique beer for hop lovers.
Pale golden in color with billowing white foam, the nose is mildly hoppy and spicy. On the palate, it's very hoppy and intoxicatingly bitter but curiously well balanced. The malt and hops intertwine in a beautiful expression of complexity, contrast and complementary flavor.
9.5% ABV Bottle Conditioned
When Bas and Hildegard were married, they did not serve wine at their celebration, they served a special strong beer brewed by Hildegard to commemorate the occasion. It was Samaranth and was inspired by the Quadrupel of Koningshoeven and other big, malty special beers of the Trappists.
The beer was such a hit that it has been in the selection ever since. Dusky, deep brown in color with a slightly off-white foam. In the nose, it's sweet and faintly spicy with notes of dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, and marzipan. On the palate, it's big and bold, massively malty and slightly warming from the alcohol. It is long and shockingly dry in the finish.
11.5% ABV Bottle Conditioned