Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Leffe: Notes de terroir

Leffe Day was a great success, and here's Trappist and Regional Brewery Analyst Seb with a few words about the brand...
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Let’s move on to another province of the Walloon region: Namur. The abbey of Leffe in Dinant, where Leffe is brewed, lies on the river Meuse that flows through northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands. But Leffe is no longer brewed in Namur province. Leffe is by all means the travelling beer among all Belgian beers. A beer has actually been brewed in the abbey of Leffe from the 13th century onto the French revolution when the secular wine loving Frenchmen took possession of the city and destroyed its godsend brewery.

The production of Leffe beer was thus interrupted for over 150 years until a brewer and entrepreneur named Lootvoet secured the rights of Leffe beer and restarted production in 1952. The not-so-beer-loving but very-much-money-loving Lootvoet sold his rights of production after only three years to one of the big guns out there: Stella Artois brewery.

Stella Artois kept brewing Leffe in Lootvoet's brewery before transferring it two decades later in 1976 to its Mont Saint Guibert brewery in Walloon Brabant province. Ultimately, in 1996, Stella Artois transferred Leffe production to its headquarters in Leuven, Flemish Brabant. Hopefully, Leffe stops its journey northwards in Leuven.

I nearly forgot, Stella Artois is now owned by Inbev, the global market leader. Belgian observers won’t fail to notice this Wallonia-born beer is now brewed in Flanders.

Leffe is brewed in a variety of styles. The more common sorts are Blonde and Brune. Most beer enthusiasts also enjoy their Triple and Radieuse. True beer lovers have come to appreciate their Cuvée de Noël (Christmas beer). And in order to please all, Leffe launched a pretty strong 9° blonde in 2006 simply called Leffe 9 as well as a spring beer called Leffe Rousse.
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Thanks again, Seb!

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