Rx Magazine

Unibroue’s unique brews intoxicate beer barons
by Kate Zimmerman for RX Magazine

The hottest thing in Canada’s beer world now is not a beer — it’s a brewery.

That’s the opinion of longtime beer writer and aficionado Stephen Beaumont. He runs an informative website called World of Beer (www.worldofbeer.com) and is a partner in the new Toronto drinking establishment beerbistro.

Beaumont and his partner at the bistro, Brian Morin, are currently enthused about a Quebec brewery called Unibroue, based in Chambly, outside Montreal. Unibroue sets itself apart with distinctive Belgian-style ales, dense, spicy beers that fully embrace the eclectic brewing methods of that country, such as potent blonde ales (the 9% alcohol Fin du Monde), spiced beers (Maudite) and the classic Belgian wheat beer spiced with coriander and orange peel (Blanche de Chambly).

One of Beaumont’s favourites this winter is Maudite (French for “damned”).  

“It’s got tremendous character,” he explains. “It’s a very, very flavourful beer.”

Maudite has 8 per cent alcohol and is spiced with coriander seeds.

“People who appreciate wine understand it,” says Beaumont. “It has a defined beginning, middle and end.”

In other words, it has layers of taste that change from the time it hits your tongue to the moment you swallow it, like good wine. And yet, Beaumont says, “It’s very drinkable. It’s not an intimidating beer.”

It’s a terrific accompaniment to dinner, too. “It’s good with steak, stew, sausages — even a vegetable goulash.”

Meanwhile, Morin is a fan of Unibroue’s Blanche de Chambly, which he describes as “a beautiful Belgian white ale with hints of orange and coriander. It’s a wheat beer that’s light, citrusy and refreshing.”  People who think they don’t like beer but do like white wine tend to love Blanche de Chambly, he says.

Another option in the winter-time is Unibroue’s Quelque Chose, which is served warm. It’s delicious with a chocolatey dessert, according to Morin. “It’s a strong cherry beer with hints of spice.”

Unibroue’s brews come in 750 ml. bottles and are priced around $5.50.

Writing > Food

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