Let’s Call It a Collaborative Craft Beer

Some seem to think that to have a beer brewed by someone else is not good, in an ethical sense. Often the same people think that doing it at home can entail health risks. Moral of the story: Do not brew.

In the United States, the matter has been closed since July 2013: Brewing beer at home is legal in all 50 states. And there’s nothing illegal about brewing somewhere other than at home.

It’s a touchy subject, however, in some European countries…

So here is a Belgian beer made at the Deca Brouwerij (Woesten, West Flanders), whose owners are Georges and Nicolas Christiaens, who have been in business since 1991. They were hired by the Brouwerij Verstraete (Diksmuide, West Flanders), which makes no attempt to conceal the fact on its website: “Papegaei is brewed and bottled by Adam Verstraete at the Deca brewery in Woesten.” That information is confirmed by Deca’s site: “Papegaei wordt gebrouwen en gebotteld door Adam Verstraete in de installaties van brouwerij Deca te Woesten.” (The exact same sentence.)

So, brewer Adam brews at brewers Georges and Nicolas’s brewery…

In fact, to my understanding, what we have here is a self-taught brewer who provides professional brewer’s services. For my part, I see no problem with that.

And when are we going to finally get to the beer? It’s an 8%-ABV Belgian strong ale, at first rather sweet and a bit oily on the palate, with a moderate level of bitterness, but overall enlivened by a magnificent yeast. This very refreshing ale finishes in a dry sourish fruity way. A sweet (perhaps a little too sweet), well-hopped strong ale, remarkably balanced by its dry yeast.

Adam’s first beer, and a nicely converted try it is.