We are true and critical beer drinkers, we don’t care about marketing. We see right through the tricks and scams. All we care for is the real beer and the real brewer. We want our beer to be pure and true.
But sometimes pure and true beer could use some marketing magic. One of those beers is ‘Cavebeer’ (‘Grottenbier’). Not really an inviting name. . You wouldn’t call a beer: ‘Mudbeer’, ‘Stonebeer’ or ‘Shitbeer’ would you? Luckily this beer is from bilingual Belgium. Bière des Grottes just doesn’t sound as bad.
But who are we to judge? This beer was brewed by Pierre Celis, the Belgian masterbrewer who reinvented Belgian wheat beer. If this legendary man, who unfortunately passed away last April, decides that this beer should lager in the marl caves of mount St. Peter, then we’ve got no choice but to respect that. So Cavebeer it is.
Of course Pierre had good reasons for laying down his beer in a cave. In the marl caves the temperature is always 12 degrees Celsius (54° Fahrenheit) with a 95% humidity. These never changing circumstances are vital for the development of the taste of the beer. So Pierre brews this beer and lets it perfect itself in damp dark caves.
So how did this Cavebeer actually taste? Well, it’s brown and it’s got 6,5% of alcohol. The foam head keeps up nicely. The beer is a pleasing lightbrown. After a few sips the sweetness comes through. It’s almost a Belgian Dubbel ale but not as sweet. Actually this beer is easy to drink rather mindlessly but that wouldn’t do it justice.
Because there’s a deeper layer in Cavebeer. Really tasting it, you’ll notice a rather beautiful and complex beer. The alcoholic scent is extremely pleasing. And it’s in the aftertaste that this beer really shows it all. Suddenly all the flavors that you like in a good brown ale are there, such as toffees and raisins.
Very well balanced
Only if you take the time to give this beer a proper chance, you’ll appreciate all the different flavors. They all fit and are very well balanced. These are the flavors that belong in a brown ale. That’s the way one recognizes the hand of the master brewer in this beer. A job well done!
So what makes this beer tasting so subtle and balanced? Is it really the full control over the circumstances in which in lagers? So it takes a never changing temperature and humidity to make a beer like this? Well, we happily let ourselves being carried away in believing this.
Classic Belgian ale
Cavebeer was First made in the nineties. And in a certain way, the taste tells you that. Today beers taste much more outspoken than this classic Belgian ale. And in a way that’s just too bad. But being honest, I wouldn’t order this beer in a pub very often. Because at First it’s just a not very outspoken Dubbel. It really needs time and attention to be appreciated.
And Pierre Celis? I don’t think he couldn’t care less about the name of this beer. He was happy experimenting with lagering in that mountain. That’s what a true brewing-nerd likes. And he made a beautiful beer doing that. But I do wonder whether Cavebeer will survive this changing beer market. Because being in the pub, I would order a more outspoken ale. That means we rate it with three stars.