Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Dutch Beer of the Week

Brouwerij Demoersleutel Motorolie 10

I was unlikely to stay away from Dutch beer for long - and welcome to one of the newest stars of the Netherlands beer scene. 

The first time I came across Demoersleutel was at last years's Gents Bierfestival which featured a couple of seriously impressive big dark beers and a pretty tasty IPA. "They're a new hot Dutch brewery" I was told.  I subsequently tracked down some of the beers from these self-styled "beer engineers" (the name means 'spanner' or 'wrench') on a trip to Amsterdam and instantly became a fan.

So, who are they? It's a family concern based at the moment in Heiloo north of Amsterdam, although they have recently crowd funded a new brewery which, if my research is correct, will be based in Alkmaar. The family in question is Sjaak and Margreet Zomerdijl and their four sons Max, Pim. Rob and Tom who, I think, are now a little older than their Facebook photo might suggest - they are between 19-24 in fact.

Sjaak was involved in the Vriedenbier Brouwerij which, I suspect, is effectively no more as all of the family's energy is devoted to Demoersleutel. As you will see from the RateBeer page a large range of beers have been produced since they were launched in early 2016 - all to great acclaim. 

The Vriedenbier kit and premises have been used so far but the new brewery is now being installed and the new premises will also include a barrel ageing room with up to 300 whisky. bourbon, rum, cognac, and armagnac casks among others.  Not only that but I see from today's announcement they are also into the sour side and so will be appearing at this year's Carnivale Brettanomyces. I must say I'm looking forward to trying their sours as when the Bierista website went to see them in May last year there were some 50 barrels of these awaiting bottling.

So, what are the beers like? My tasting notes from Ghent rave about the dark beers ("chewy and delicious") but I was a bit more circumspect about the IPA which had a vanilla note that I wasn't sure should have been there. Then I was told that they'd more or less gone back to the drawing board with the big hoppy beers as they, too, weren't totally happy with them. It looks like some have been released since so hopefully everything is now back on track.

And Motorolie ("motor oil") 10? Well, this is a big old bruiser of a Russian Imperial Stout at 12%. Lots of malts in here (including chocolate, caramalt and black malt) so it pours almost black with a dark brown head.  As you may expect the nose has the required chocolate, roast and espresso notes. The body is smooth and initially rather light - almost as if someone has dropped splash of cream into a black coffee - which then builds into a complex multi-grain finish with black coffee and bitter chocolate bouncing ahead. This really is very good.

De Moersleutel already export their beers (some has even gone to Australia) so its about time we got some here in the UK. Any takers?

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