I've recently taken up the post of beer writer for Scout Magazine. I'll be writing a weekly article for Scout where I'll profile some of the fantastic beer coming out of BC right now and the awesome people who are making it. For my first article I reviewed one of my personal favorites: Dageraad Blonde. Read it here on Scout.
There’s a pretty good chance that if you’re reading this, you probably already know about the good things coming out of Burnaby’s Dageraad Brewing. Back in the spring of 2014, Dageraad’s owner and brewer, Ben Coli, penned an excellent nine-part series for Scout’s Brewer’s Blog where he sought to address two key questions: What is Belgian beer? And, can it be brewed here? (If you haven’t had a chance to read it and are curious about all the thought and dedication that go into making good beer, I’d highly recommend it).
While I’ll leave the nuances of what constitutes ‘Belgian beer’ to Mr. Coli, I’m happy to report that – as a number of awards and a growing legion of dedicated and appreciative customers will attest – Dageraad has shown that Belgian beer can indeed be brewed right here in BC. From their solid core lineup to a steady spate of excellent seasonal and limited releases (their recent Anno 2015, a strong golden ale brewed with Keremeous Pears and Indian Coriander, proved really popular with family and friends over the holidays), Dageraad is consistently producing complex, intriguing beers that evoke a strong and distinct sense of place.
Described, with good reason, as the pride of the brewery, Dageraad Blonde is an absolutely stunning beer, and may well be my favourite beer brewed year-round in BC.
It pours a gorgeous, hazy golden colour and displays an initial light biscuity malt aroma on the nose that is quickly complimented by notes of candied fruit, green apple and citrus. The prominence of biscuit and fruit carries through in the first sip and is balanced by a mild, nutty sweetness, subtle notes of clove and coriander, and a lingering peppery tartness.
With a rich, supple mouth feel and a warming finish, Dageraad Blonde manages to balance all of its complexity while still maintaining its many unique, constituent elements. Not too shabby for something brewed right here in our own backyard and widely available year-round in private liquor stores and discerning taprooms and restaurants.
Plus (as an added bonus), it pairs exceptionally well with old Thelonious Monk records by the fire on foggy January nights – if combining delicious Belgian beer with the musical equivalent of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning just happens to be your thing.