The ‘Ardennes’ part in this beer’s name refers to a yeast named for the Ardennes region of Belgium and is thus known for its suitability for a variety of Belgian style beers. The way they use it at Staves is by fermenting it at a reasonably warm temperature which has the effect of helping promoting the yeast’s esters and phenols (in other words, making it smell both fruity and a little spicy). Because it’s made with pale malt and a good dose of oats, all the aromatics sit on top of a base that’s very light in colour and has a slightly creamy feeling. Despite the low level of alcohol – the sweet spot is around 4.2 percent ABV – there’s a lot of complexity to this beer, and that’s all down to our friend Ardennes. They figure they'd probably sell a lot more of it if they called it a Belgian pale ale, a Belgian table beer or pretty much anything that didn't have that weird word ‘Ardennes’ in the title. But it’s such a critical part of what the beer is that it would seem sacrilegious to leave it out. You’re free to call it what you will. We’d call it delicious.
Published September 1, 2016 2016-09-01 00:00:00