This strong ale is a creation of the family-owned St Feuillien Brewery in the Belgian municipality of Le Roeulx, 50 kilometres south-west of Brussels.

TEXT & PHOTO: STUART FORSTER

It is a beer with markedly more power than is initially apparent. It is by no means a boozy tasting beer. This is a well-crafted ale whose taste is smooth and deliciously fruity with hints of spice. If it was a boxer it would be a deceptive, fleet-footed middleweight with the punch of a heavyweight. Do not even think about trying to go 12 rounds with this ale!

The brewery was founded by Stéphanie Friart in 1873. It is still independent and family run, five generations on. The St Feuillien Brewery is one of the 22 members of the Belgian Family Brewers association. That body’s red, yellow and black logo appears on bottles of St Feuillien Tripel.

Over the past decade the family has invested to modernise their brewery, which brews Abbey-style ales, of which this is one. Saison, IPA and fruit beers are also produced.

The fruitiness of St Feuillien Tripel bursts onto the palette. It presents a touch of sweetness then rolls into a pleasant bitterness. That twists away to leave a smooth, lingering fruitiness.

The colour of this beer is amber. Bottle fermentation means a residue of yeast, which you can choose to add to the glass, or not, during the pour.

The aroma has elements of spiciness but, ultimately, it is the fruitiness that wins through. This is a beer that pairs well with mature, deep yellow cheeses. Alternatively, enjoy it with fireside conversation on a cold winter night. It is the season for such pleasures.

Brewer: Brasserie St-Feuillien
Strength: 8.5 per cent

Stuart Forster was twice named Journalist of the Year at the 2015 and 2016 Holland Press Awards. Five generations of his family have been actively involved in the brewing industry.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Discover Benelux Magazine.’

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