Monday, April 29, 2013

Dieu Du Ciel At Spuyten Duyvil

The Wallonade Belgian blonde and the Symbiose 4 sour.

[link to podcast page]
Dieu Du Ciel At Spuyten Duyvil podcast

For the past few years NYC has been the very lucky, and unique, beneficiary of a tap take-over by Montréal's Dieu Du Ciel brewery. Usually DDC invades the Blind Tiger sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, though it wasn't possible this past fall. So, they made up for it by coming in April, with some 22 different beers! Six of them were exclusively featured at Spuyten Duyvil.

The brewery began in September of 1998 with a modest, but busy, 4-barrel brewpub in the Mile End neighborhood of Montréal (kind of like their Brooklyn?), but the success of and demand for their beers created the need for more capacity. So, in the fall of 2007 a 20-barrel production facility was built in St-Jerôme, about 30 minutes up the highway from the city, in the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains. There, their flagship beers are brewed, bottled and kegged for domestic distribution and export.

We met up with co-founders Stephan Ostiguy and Jean-François Gravel at Spuyten, where they told us that, while it's nearly impossible to find such a wide array of their beers on tap anywhere outside of their brewpub on Laurier and St-Laurent, it's completely commonplace to find 18 different beers pouring at the brewpub on any given day.

While that may be true, we've never seen so many of their rare and special beers up at once at the brewpub. Purgatoire old-style porter aged in red wine barrels, a collaboration with Trou du Diable (10.2%), Péché Mortel Bourbon aged in bourbon barrels (9.5%), Equinoxe du Printemps cask scotch ale with maple syrup (8%), Symbiose 4 sour beer aged in oak barrels (6%) -- ALL at once? You best travel to NYC if you want that experience!
They explained that it's a huge benefit to the microbrewery to have the brewpub to test out new beers or tweak old recipes. Aside from it being easier to experiment on the smaller system, they can immediately gauge public reaction to the beers through the brewpub patrons. The smaller brewpub system also allows them to create very challenging, unique and unusual beers, if they choose, without having to sacrifice resources and tank space.

The Dieu Du Ciel brewpub is a certified beer geek travel destination. And it's great to have some of their beers available in places like New Beer and the Whole Foods Beer Store in New York. But it's also nice to know that once a year, Dieu blesses us by descending from the heavens to baptize us with some of their choicest creations that they save up all year long, with which to sanctify the New York faithful!

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