Organic products are a way of life in the times we live in. No longer is it seen as a gimmick or a culture difference, but as accepted as any new brand can be. Van Bulck is the latest organic beer to hit the UK, and it promises a range that only a few brewers can master.
2013 saw an ex-chef and sommelier of 20 years by the name of Denis Renty create a three expression strong organic beer in partnership with a seven generation brewery. Based in Flanders in Belgium, renowned for growing some of the best hops available, Denis has adapted an old family recipe and tailored towards the palate of today. His mother still lives in Flanders and was a renowned chef in her own right. Her maiden name is Van Bulck, hence the name and inspiration, and still works only with organic products in the family hotel and restaurant.
The brewery has adapted itself to meet the strict requirements of brewing organic beers, to the point of the brewer was awarded by the ‘Fédération des études et recherches dans l’industrie de fermentation’ for his scientific study ‘The return of the hopping during the cooking of the wort and the loss of bitter agents during the further production process’.
A mentioned, the brewing process is something only few brewers master, seeing the use of gluten poor and organic barley malt within Van Bulck. This is said to result in a lighter, more balanced flavour that can match with a variety of food recipes.
So how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Van Bulck Gluten Free Organic Lager – 4.5%
Light, fresh aromas of honey and walnut come through on the nose. Very light upon the palate, with a thin flavour of honey following from the nose. A clean finish albeit a little dry.
Van Bulck Organic Blonde Beer – 4.6%
Herbal notes on the nose with liquorice, apple and soft apricot. Lively upon the palate, with a soft white fruit cover and fresh wheat aftertaste. Lingering freshness.
Van Bulck Wild Fruit Beer – 4.7%
Made with 7 different fruits – cherries, pomegranate, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit, blackberries.
Plenty of ripe, raw red fruits on the nose, with the raspberries and grapefruit dominating. Very soft on the palate, with a subtle natural sweetness followed by strawberry and pomegranate flavours. A lingering finish of cherry.
Three very natural tasting expressions here, and I can see how they can be versatile when it comes to matching with food. For example, the organic lager would go well with oysters, crab, mussels and shellfish, whilst the blonde beer paired with white meat or lemon cake would go down very well. The wild fruit beer though would pair nicely with red fruits, venison or strong cheese such as the French styles or Stilton.
Worthy of a purchase if you are after a natural flavour, or fancy matching with any of the suggestions above. Enjoy!
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