Beers to watch out for at Ales Tales 2018
11 May 2018, By Jonny Garrett
After last year's small but perfectly formed inaugural Belgian beer festival, Ales Tales is back! We had an amazing time running the shop and trying beers from breweries we'd never heard of before. As Belgium experts that's not a thing we get to do very often!
This year's brewery list is a little bit bigger but a whole lot better, with some of Belgium's best and most experimental breweries joining the line up. As well as the returning De La Senne, Hof Ten Doormal and Siphon, organisers have added mixed ferm specialists Alvinne, saison obsessives De Blaugies and the more modern stylings of No Science and Ermitage. The last two are new to us, so they are the first place we'll head when we get to the Oval Space in Hackney on 1st of June!
As always at a Belgian beer festival, the wild variety of breweries and styles can be pretty daunting so we sat down to have a look at the beer list and pick our favourites. The joy of a small, very well curated festival like this is that every beer is a winner, and you try pretty much every one that's there! Tickets are still available so pick them up right here.
De Ranke Simplex
A Belgian Kolsch! What a time to be alive. And it's a beautiful lager/ale hybrid with soft, fruity yeast aromas cutting through a clean and refreshing pale body. It's a great first beer to get you in the mood, or a palate refresher after something sour or extremely hoppy (yes there are some hop bombs at this Belgian festival!) You can buy it here too.
A rich, velvety and smooth oyster stout so full of coffee, liquorice and soft salinity it makes you double take each time you take a sip. We think it's the best of Siphon's core range, and that's saying something. Try the beer by ordering it here.
De Blaugies Vermontoise
One of the best saisons we've ever tasted – made with spelt it has a raw, grainy and rustic malt body, dry hopped with amarillo to add zest and orange pith to the spicy yeast aromas. The Darbyste – a similar saison but fermented with fig juice – is equally brilliant with the same rustic malt feel but a smoother, fruitier nose.
t'Verzet Oud Bruin Raspberry
A delicious cherry-scented Flemish Red style sour from one of Belgium's most exciting new breweries. Based out the back of a car garage, they have a huge, innovative space and irreverent approach to brewing that bridges the gap between modern craft and traditional Belgian methods. This version of their flagship beer has been aged over raspberries for a fresh and delicate, floral tartness. We have limited stock right now!
De Halve Maan Straffe Hendrik Quadruple
Perhaps our favourite Belgian quad, loaded with caramel, banana, liquorice and slight sherry notes. More known for their Brugse Zot beers, the Straffe range is bigger, bolder and more true to the Abbey roots that inspired it. Buy it here today.
De La Senne Taras Boulba
For our money this is the best session ale in the world, and there isn't a brewer in the world who's had it and wouldn't agree. Spicy Belgian esters, soft stone fruit, a little lemon hop bite and a lightning quick finish. Its depth and drinkability put pretty much all beers at the same strength to shame. Stock up here too!
Get your tickets to Ales Tales today!