[Beer Lecture] Chapter 26. The Devil for Sale

The Moortgat family in 1895

It’s interesting

One brewer named Alfred Dubuisson went even further than this. After inheriting the family brewery in the Hainaut province, he decided to compete against British beers and, in 1933, prepared a special version of barleywine as strong as 12% ABV. The brew was named ‘Bush’ to stress the connection — in fact, he translated his very last name into English!

  • exposing to high temperatures is to be avoided at any stage, as it results in darker beers;
  • sugar syrup is replaced with the dextrose one;
  • attenuation is increased: Duvel is an extraordinarily dry beer.

How to taste

Of course, the №1 choice is Duvel itself, which can be found even in corner shops. Apart from the original Duvel, one of its first competitors in this style deserves a special mention: ‘Delirium Tremens’ by Brouwerij Huyghe (they are also producing one more magnificent strong golden ale under the ‘La Guillotine’ brand).

  • Blonde by La Chouffe (which was, by the way, bought by the Moortgats at some point);
  • Gnommegang by Ommegang (which was — guess, what?—also bought by the Moortgats);
  • Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial Blond;
  • Piraat by Van Steenberge;
  • Stille Nacht by De Dolle.

The wind of change

As the history of Belgian brewing demonstrates, just making a quality product is not enough — the art of selling it is a must-have as well. At the beginning of the 80s, Belgium was producing a mind-blowing range of beers to suit any taste:

  • faro, lambic, gueuze, and their cherry and raspberry varieties;
  • dubbel, tripel, and (how they will later call it) quadrupel;
  • Orval and saison;
  • the Flanders brown;
  • strong golden ales after by the Moortgats;
  • witbier after Pierre Celis;
  • …and regular pilsner and pale ales as well.




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