They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor

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From the cellar: Liefmans Jan van Gent

Liefmans Jan van Gent

Jan van Gent

ABV: 5.5%
Origin: Oudenaarde, Oost-Vlaanderen, Vlaanderen
Website: www.liefmans.be
First published: 26 March 2001

Another review from the written for the pioneering Oxford Bottled Beer Database (OBBD). I’ve left it uncorrected — so please read it in that historical spirit.

Liefmans owner Riva went bankrupt in 2007, and the brewery is now owned by the group. The new owners have understandably concentrated mainly on raising the profile of its celebrated brown ale, and Jan van Gent didn’t survive the upheavals, perhaps because it’s too close to other beers in D-M’s extensive portfolio.

Jan van Gent, incidentally, is the Dutch name of Plantagenet nobleman and military leader John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (1340-99). He’s an appropriate namesake for a beer with both Flemish and English influences as he was born in Gent: ‘Gaunt’ is an archaic anglicised rendering of the city’s French name Gand. But gent is also ‘gannet’ or ‘gander’, and  Jan-van-Gent is the Dutch common name for the seabird Morus bassanus, known in English as the Northern Gannet. It’s this bird that’s depicted on the label.

A newish line from Liefmans of Oudenaarde, East Flanders, now a subsidiary of Riva. It’s quite unlike the distinctive brown ales for which the brewery is justly famous, and a little disappointing.

A pale ale shading to blond, it is nicely fresh and bottle conditioned, slightly creamy and phenolic, but otherwise a very unprovoking combination of malt palate and tangy hops. Maybe I had a bad bottle – near the end of its declared shelf life – but I was left wondering why they didn’t just stick to brown ale.

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