Rightly Poised

La Blanche de Shawi, winner of a Bronze medal at the 2015 World Beer Awards (Wheat Beer category), comes from Canada’s largest province, Quebec. There, until the early 1980s, three breweries monopolized the market: Labatt, Molson, and Carling-O’Keefe. Thanks to new legislation, brewpubs appeared in the mid 1980s. Shortly after, microbreweries heeded the call for new beers.

Amongst these, Le Trou du Diable was launched in 2005 by Isaac Tremblay and André Trudel in Shawinigan, a town that had experienced industrial decline. Despite the obstacles, the microbrewery today produces a million bottles a year.

Labelled “refreshing beer,” this 5%-ABV Blanche de Shawi is of Belgian white style — pale, cloudy, spicy (coriander, orange peel), a crisp wheat character, and a lively level of carbonation. This one fully meets the profile. Call it a liquid wheat bread, with aromas of citrus and (inevitably today) banana.

About the banana… Well, anyway the coriander is very present, and the texture is really pleasant. What emerges for me are sturdy earthy hops and beautiful yeast notes. But there is also a metallic side — could vitamins have been added?

This is a standard of the genre, maybe a little too generic, but a great summer beer for sure.