Getting Delirious in Belgium
Nov 01, 2018
What was something new you learned about Delirium / Brouwerij Huyghe?
Robert Fogarty: The brewery is a mix of old world charm and technology. There’s robots loading pallets with kegs, computerized, massive fermentation vessels, and the place is spotless. Despite all these new innovations, attached is an ages old beer hall and museum with the history of the Belgian brewing culture.
Brian Fitzpatrick: Overall, I was impressed by the incredible scale and modernity of the brewery Huyghe. Seeing the original copper fermentation vessels used in Delirium production was important to understand the beer’s roots. We followed this up with a visit to the state-of the-art modern, computerized stainless steel fermentation vessels. The automated keg filling and packing robot was a cutting-edge incorporation of technology that was amazing to experience.
What makes Delirium so unique?
RF: It’s a true craft beer that’s locally produced from locally sourced ingredients using centuries of Belgian brewing tradition.
BF: A few things stood out to me. First, the family involvement in every aspect of the brewery’s operation. Additionally, you can tell they care about their people. Many employees had been with them for decades. They employ a team of special needs individuals who pack all the bottled beer by hand. That tells me they care about their community. The other thing I learned was their commitment to being an industry-leading sustainable brewery. They currently reuse 50% of all waste water and have recently installed solar panels that provide some of the brewery’s electric needs.
What is your favorite Delirium beer and food pairing?
RF: Delirium Tremens with mussels and Belgian fries.
BF: Delirium Tremens with waterzooi (chicken stew). Also served with frites. So many frites.
What role does beer play in Belgium’s culture?
RF: I think of Belgium as a blend of the surrounding cultures of France, England and Germany. The cafes and beer halls have that nice mix of English pub and German Beer Hall. No TVs are displayed, just groups of locals sharing locally produced beverages and amazing food (that’s the French connection) and chatting. Beer is the catalyst that brings people together.
BF: Belgians definitely have their brand favorites and it was interesting to see how cafes partner with specific brands to merchandise. Regardless of the brand, it is the cafe culture and the beer that is served there that brings people around the table to socialize, eat and enjoy Belgian Beer.
Describe your experience at Belgian Beer weekend.
RF: The event itself was a close knit community coming together. It did not seem like a competition, but rather a coming together of friends and neighbors; it’s a celebration of what they offer.
BF: There is no better location than the Grand Place in Brussels for this event. It is simply breathtaking with it’s gilded mercantile buildings and cobblestone streets. The selection of this distinguished location for the event demonstrates the amount of respect Belgians have for their beer! The number of elite breweries at the event is impressive and the atmosphere was collaborative and celebratory with each brewery excited to share their core beers along with new and limited releases. During and after the festival, the cafes surrounding the Grand Place are packed with festival goers and tourists alike. It was a nice experience to visit the Delirium Cafe for dinner after the festival.
Slightly malty, a nice touch of alcohol, spicy. On the palate, the tongue is warmed. The taste is characterized by its roundness. The aftertaste is strong, long-lasting and dry bitterness.
Aroma of Belgian yeast, fruity and dark. Tastes of figs, dark raisins, chocolate.
Strong, dark Belgian ale aromas. Bread, dried fruits and caramel. Flavor is medium high sweet and very dry, yeasty. Medium dry finish.
Deep dark red color, with a light pink, compact and lacing head. Soft fruity aroma, with hints of almond and mildly sour cherries. On the palate, wweet and fruity, with a nice balance between sweet and sour. An excellent dessert beer.