A lot can happen to a brewery in 12 years, especially if they’re in the business of producing a dying style, in a dying beer region which is slowly being taken over by multinational, American-influenced corporations. Not that this scenario is in any way particular to Belgium, or even the Belgian regions known for producing Saison, but in the case of Brasserie a Vapeur, one of the oldest and well-known producers of Saison, it’s quite a statement that they’re still producing the same core of beers that they were as little as a decade ago. I was lucky enough to score a vintage bottle of the brewery’s famed “Ale with Spices,” also known as Folie. A beer that is notoriously unstable, inconsistent, and extremely delicious in its best examples, Folie is attractive to me. I have tried to get through two newer bottles of this beer, adorned as they are with a half naked woman and a stoned looking jester, with little success. One was so “light-struck” (the big boy name for SKUNKED) that I had a hard time finishing it, and the other was infected or something and spat out 3/4 of the bottle in foam form. I collected as much as I could and tried to drink it, but it was pretty ruined.
The 12 year old bottle of Folie I sampled was an entirely different story. A corked and capped big green bottle seems like it would have little chance of “making it” this far, but it did quite well. The cork was soaked and a bit disintegrated when I pulled it out, and immediately I knew I was in for something quite different from a “traditional” or should I say “modern-traditional” Saison, even a “spiced Saison” when I smelled it. The nose was closer to a lambic or American wild Ale than the spiciness and hoppiness associated with Saisons. The beer smelled acidic, a bit fruity, and had some of the more “farmy” qualities you would expect from a Saison as well. Basically, complex as hell and equally tasty. Drinking this was quite an experience — this beer was exceptionally dry and tasted very much like limes, but not as much in a burning citric way as a floral way, know what I’m saying? It poured a beautiful pale golden color with little head and maintained a nice amount of carbonation considering the age, but didn’t have the full bubbly profile you would expect from a Saison.
Purchasing and drinking this beer was an extremely rewarding experience, and I’ve noticed how many bars and shops around NYC carry vintage Vapeur bottles. I highly recommend picking any of these up. There’s some 1989 bottles floating around at bars for reasonable prices, and I’m dying to get my hands on one.what is animal control number . wild animal removal services . Link