Brouwerij Palm Steenbrugge Blond is a blond abbey beer, firstly top fermented, and then secondly bottle fermented.
Palm Brewery is located in Steenhuffel, Belgium. Wikipedia notes that their archives show beers being brewed from 1747 (although their logo suggests 1686). The brewery was refurbished fairly substantially a couple of times; and then destroyed completely in 1914 during World War I. It was rebuilt, but the brewer chose to still top-ferment the beers in the old Brabant style rather than brew it using newer methods, such as those used to brew Pilsner.
In 2016, the Dutch Bavaria Brewery bought Palm Belgian Craft Brewers. They’ve now been renamed Swinkels Family Brewers.
In Bruges in medieval times, each brewer was obliged to purchase herbs and spices from the city’s herb and spice shop, known as a “Gruuthuse”. In this beer, the same technique is used – the “gruut” blend of herbs and spices gives the beer its flavour. Additionally, a specific Steenbrugge top-fermenting yeast strain is used, providing fruitiness.
Because of the second fermentation (in the bottle), this has a slightly higher alcohol content than if you get it on keg (6.5% ABV when bottled, 6.3% ABV on keg).
Despite the bottle conditioning, there were no signs of sediment when pouring. It poured with a nice, fluffy white head – and as you can see from the picture, was beautifully clear.
Despite the fairly large head, there were strong fruity aromas as this poured – in fact, you didn’t even have to get your nose near the glass, as they were so strong. I was a bit concerned that the beer was going to taste a bit like perfume, but there was nothing to worry about – it’s incredibly crisp and refreshing to drink. In fact, it’s probably the most refreshing Belgian blond I’ve had, with the fruity profile working really well.
As I’d imagined, the brewery has won a couple of awards for this beer – in fact, I’m surprised it’s not more:
- 2013 – Brussels Beer Challenge – Silver
- 2015 – Brussels Beer Challenge – Silver
A big fruity aroma
A big fruity aroma – crisp and refreshing