First of all, thank you to everyone for supporting us while we are still starting up our brewery. It’s been a long journey so far, with many ups and downs, but it’s moments like these that make it well worth the effort.
We are so excited and honoured with the awards we have been able to win this year and it is clear that we have a number of you that are eager to try the Meueze and Rouge. Our plan had been to release these beers with the opening of our own retail space. Both beers lend themselves well to aging, so we could think positively about storing these beers for the foreseeable future. We don’t even have labels yet, as it didn’t seem likely that they would be hitting our shelves any time soon.
Now we are faced with a predicament; we want to share these beers with those who want to try them, but we aren’t quite ready to sell them just yet. Over the next couple of days, we will be working on getting some labels designed and ready for print. In the meantime, we will also work on finding some partners to retail the beer on our behalf. So, stay tuned and we will let you know when and how you can get your hands on these beers that we are so so proud to share.
For those of you that are still reading and interested in learning more about how these beers came to be:
Back in 2016, while still at New Limburg, I was given two barrels to start my barrel program from a local winemaker, not really knowing what I was getting into, but excited to try my hand at creating something in a style that I like. Duchesse de Bourgogne, one of my favourite beers at the time, inspired me to start with a Flanders red ale. So, that’s what we did and impatiently waited for them to mature, trying (and often failing) not to sample the barrels too often to see how they were coming along.
That beer was released at New Limburg back in 2017 as the Flanders Red. It was a personal success as well as being well received with our local beer community.
That made the decision easy to fill the barrels again and source a couple more barrels to expand the program and start exploring more beers in that genre. You hear about, in the process of making beers like this, that each barrel can have its own character, and you hope for the best. Sometimes a barrel doesn’t turn out. But this time that wasn’t the case. Each barrel turned out very well, and even better when blended together. It’s around that time that my passion for these kinds of beers really took hold.
As everyone in the brewing industry will tell you, bringing mixed cultures into a clean brewery can have some adverse effects. Some brewers (ahem, yours truly) like to learn this the hard way. Long story short, it was deemed wise to put the barrel project on hold for a while. With a passion having formed for these styles of beers, a vision for a farmhouse brewery was forming. The difficult decision was made to step away from New Limburg to start a new venture with Estelle.
We bought a farm, with a small barn, and got to work. Which took time. And then some more. And still.
What we really wanted was to produce some beer under our own label but in a farmhouse style. Eventually coming to the decision to contract brew our first beer, rather than wait for our brick and mortar location to be operational. So, we went back to New Limburg, where we could brew the beer hands-on, and came out with our Saison, last December. At that point, it only made sense to also resume brewing for New Limburg as this coincided with their brewer leaving to pursue another opportunity.
That brings us to this past summer. Cue summertime production for not one, but two breweries. Cue a global pandemic. Cue pivoting to focusing on running our on-farm market to make some money. This left very little time to build up our brick and mortar brewing space.
During all this, New Limburg still housed a number of barrels in a corner, still waiting, for an excessively long time. After tasting a few small samples, it was clear that these beers were more than ready to be packaged. As we were able to bring these barrels under the Meuse label, we took a long afternoon to try a number of different blends and decided on our favourites. Over the following months, we started packaging the different blends. This is how Meuse’s Meueze and Rouge, and the Cuvée versions were born.