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Des de Moor
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Accredited Beer Sommelier
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Des de Moor


Loterbol Bruin

Bières sans frontières, . For more selections see previous post.

ABV: 8%
Origin: Diest, Vlaams-Brabant, Vlaanderen


One of a batch of newer microbreweries gradually bringing new techniques and flavours to the Belgian beer scene, Loterbol describes itself as a brewpub — café-brouwerij — though in fact the pub is open only on the first Saturday of every month. Instead most of the beer from the 28hl plant goes  into bottles for distribution via food and drink distributor and exporter Weynants, which owns the brewery. In fact the site, in the town of Diest in the far northeast corner of Flemish Brabant, was historically a brewery known as De Brouwketel (The Copper or brewing kettle) since at least 17o6. This ended up in the hands of the Duysters family and finally stopped brewing in 1973. Its contemporary brewing history begins in 1995 when Marc Bierens installed a tiny microbrewery in a renovated part of the property — for a while the name Duysters continued to be used, but the brewery has since taken the name of the pub and the main beer brand, which comes in several varieties as well as in a blend with lambic known as Tuverbol. A “loterbol” is a dialect term for a comic figure from local folklore, a person who is attractive but talks absolute twaddle.

History records that Duysters was known in the late 19th century for satisfying the local taste for strong brown beers, so Loterbol Bruin is keeping up a local tradition with some style: the sample I tried, in Antwerpen’s Kulminator, was of excellent quality. It’s a very dark brown beer with a thick yellowish head that leaves lots of lace on the glass. A dark malt aroma has liquorice, raisins, candied fruit and spiced bun notes, heralding a mouth numbing dark malt and herb palate which gets more complex as it warms, rich in estery, almost detergent-like notes. A fresh finish has sherry, marmalade and vegetal flavours but is relatively dry — unlike many strong dark Belgian ales, the only fermentable used is malt, with no candy sugar, giving a pleasing alternative to the sometimes cloying sweetness typically found in the style.

More Bières sans frontières selections in the next post.
Read more about this beer at

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