Continuing with the trend of focusing on breweries as a whole rather then just focusing on individual beers, today we journey to a magical place.
(No. Not Narnia.)
Now, for those of you who have seen In Bruges, please keep your disparaging remarks about the country to yourself.
Having said this, I’ve never actually been to the country but on the basis of their beer alone, I can only imagine it’s like the place from that Pure Blonde ad (Except with more TV screens showing sport, more pool tables, more PS3’s and far, far better beer).
Which brings us to: Leffe. This beer started its life at an abbey next to the Meuse River in Namur (Southern Belgium), and has been brewed here since 1240. In case your maths is bad, that’s a loooooong time.
Over the years, Leffe Abbey continued to brew genuinely amazing beer (and the monks no doubt got quite sloshed many a time). However a flood in 1460, a fire in 1466, an invasion in 1735, and the French Revolution in 1794 meant that the abbey was well, destroyed.
Thankfully for beer-drinkers everywhere, in 1952 the production of beer resumed. Whilst it’s not brewed in the abbey itself anymore, an agreement in 1952 between Leffe Abbey and commercial brewers means that royalties are paid to this day.
I first discovered Leffe beers when I traversed down St Kilda Rd to the Belgian Beer gardens sometime during first-year Uni.
I left the gardens later that night a much satisfied, if not much poorer man. A sunny afternoon/evening spent drinking outrageously expensive but brilliant beers will do that to a man.
They produce big beers. Both in terms of taste and alcohol percentage (Leffe Blonde at 6.6% is the weakest). With a core range comprising of Leffe Blonde, Brune, Radieuse, Tripel and Vieille Cuvee, there’s something here for everyone!
So do yourself a massive favour, and next time I start badgering you about how fantastic these beers are, buy one, drink it, and agree with me.