Grimbergen Blonde, burned but not destroyed
Brewed by Brouwerijen Alken-Maes (Heineken)/at Kronenbourg (Carlsberg)
Style: Belgian Pale Ale/Blonde Ale
Grimbergen is the brand name of a variety of Belgian abbey beers. Originally brewed by Norbertine monks in the Abbey of Grimbergen since the 12th century, it is now brewed by two different breweries in Belgium and in France. Brouwerij Alken-Maes Brewery located in Alken, north of Brussels, Belgium, and the Kronenbourg Brewery in Strasbourg, France.
The abbey was well known for giving shelter for pilgrims and lost souls and also providing nice home-brewed beer to warm peoples spirits. The recipe used by the brewery today is apparently the same recipe used all those years back, over 900 years old and counting!
In 1958 Brouwerij Maes contacted the monks at the abbey with a proposition. For some support with the restoration of the Abbey, in return Maes, under the brandname “Grimbergen”, could sell their special centuries old beer.
To further feck things up big nasty Heineken took over Alken-Maes in 2008. As part of the takeover the brand name Grimbergen was transferred to Carlsberg Group, but Heineken was given a long-term license to use the brand name in Belgium. As a result of this messing around, Alken-Maes brews the beer for the Belgian market, while Carlsberg is responsible for the marketing outside Belgium of the beers that it brews under the Grimbergen name at its Kronenbourg Brewery located in France. So in essence you can find two Grimbergens, just depending on which side of the border you are. I am not sure if they taste similar or not, but I’d wager they do.
The beer has the mythological Phoenix as its symbol, and when you know the story it is not hard to see why. Grimbergen Abbey, founded way back in 1128, was destroyed by fire many times, but from the ashes the abbey was rebuilt again and again, and is still standing today. Burned but not destroyed (“‘Ardel Nec Consumitur”) is the motto of the legendary beer.
Review: 33cl Brown Bottle of Grimbergen Blonde: ABV: 6.7%
The appearance was of a clear golden colour with a big frothy white head
Good sized head, with good retention and very good lacing. Not a bad looking beer.
Nice beery smell, very nice. Smells of clove, fruits, Belgian yeast. Smells fantastic in fact.
Taste is quite strong but not bad, very manageable
Very nice and pleasant creamy mouthfuls. Very quaffable. Like it.
Fantastic tasting beer with a lot of nice flavours. Very creamy. Very crisp and refreshing mouthfuls
I like this very much. Easy to drink. Good tasting. Lots of tastes and all well balanced, of sweet malts, of barley, of wheat, of Belgian yeast, citric fruits. Get all the usual tastes working together here, perfectly balanced with both sweet and sour tastes combining well.
One of those beers after a long day you can relax with, very refreshing, excellent
6.7%, not too overbearing. As good a beer as I have had in a while…..