Brouwerij Noordt Dubbel

This beer would be worth having tasted – or should I say “seen”? – solely for the depth and richness of its colour and the magnificent structure of its foam. Imagine a beer that looks like wine, but with a nuance of the colour of molasses. The only beer I have ever seen that comes close is the legendary Thomas Hardy’s Ale.

The foam, which piles up into irregular cells in the glass – some amazingly large –, looks like the crumb of a fine, handmade, slowly fermented bread. And in fact this 7%-ABV Belgian brown ale contains not only barley, but also wheat and rye malts.

The taste, as you would expect, is dominated by the malts, but the hops – Perle and Hallertau Mittelfruh – add a spicy note to the finish. (Was it only the garnet charm of that colour that tempted me to say “winey”?)

Brouwerij Noordt, in North Rotterdam (South Holland, Netherlands), is “Rotterdam’s biggest and youngest brewery.” Housed in a former fire station, it is young indeed, having started operation less than a year ago, in July 2015. Brewmaster Peter Rouwen was trained in Ghent (Belgium), and this Dubbel shows that he learned his lessons well. The brewery’s range of beers also includes examples of major styles including a Saison, a wheat beer, and an American India Pale Lager (IPAL). We’ll be tasting them on our next trip to Rotterdam.