As many of you know, UNIBROUE is one of our very favorite breweries in the world. So, when Master Brewer Jerry Vietz and DDMG Communications informed us that ÉPHÉMÈRE PEAR was now available in the United States, we promised them a BrewView. We were very impressed with the Éphémère Cranberry back in December 2014… we were also certain that ÉPHÉMÈRE PEAR would be as excellent. Actually, Jerry informed us way back in December 2014 that he was going to be brewing a new Éphémère beer that was going to be released in mid to late Spring 2015, but did not say what the new flavor was going to be. Now we know…
From the very beginning, Unibroue has carved out a special niche in the beer world with top quality products and a brand rooted deep in Quebec culture. It made history by becoming the first North American beer maker to use a brewing method inspired by the two-centuries-old tradition developed by Trappist monks in Europe—particularly in Belgium. Over the years, Unibroue has remained faithful to its origins even as it has grown to become an icon of the brewing world. Unibroue products take you on a journey filled with legends and fabulous tales. (Source: Unibroue)
Unibroue was founded by business partners André Dion and Serge Racine who had acquired 75% of La Brasserie Massawippi Inc. of Lennoxville in 1990. The two purchased the remainder of the shares at the end of 1991 when they transferred their interest in La Brasserie Massawippi Inc. to Unibroue.
By 1992, La Brasserie Massawippi Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Unibroue. Afterward, it changed its corporate name to Brasserie Broubec Inc. and in July 1993 merged with Unibroue. It was bought by Canadian brewer, Sleeman Breweries Ltd., in 2004. Sleeman, in turn, was purchased in 2006 by Sapporo. Unibroue’s beers are distributed globally. (Source: Wikipedia)
In 2007, Unibroue promoted Jerry Vietz as its brewmaster. Jerry brings a wealth of technical and practical knowledge to the company. He joined the brewery in 2003, and began to work on such projects as R&D and automation. He also holds a certificate in Brewing and Malting from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a Diploma in Brewing (Institute of Brewing & Distilling U.K.).
As Director of the Brewing Department and Brew Master, he has been responsible for all aspects of Unibroue’s brewing department, including among others, process optimization, staff management, planning, maintenance, maintaining and improving quality standards, and ensuring the consistency of the liquid. He has also been in charge of new liquid development since 2007.
Jerry states, “I’m very passionate about fermentation in general. I’m not afraid to mix all kinds of stuff, to try new things. I’ve had the chance to experiment with a wide range of raw materials. I really believe that anything that contains carbohydrates can turn into something very interesting when it goes through the fermentation process, depending on the way you manage it. Each cereal, fruit, or sugar has a different profile and they need to be processed and managed differently in order to get a liquid with the desired characteristics.
I tell people I make “flavorful beers”—that’s the category I brew. For me, the important thing is to express myself through the beer. I brew with passion and I hope that people take as much pleasure to taste my beer as I have to create them!” (Source: Unibroue)
BEER STYLE AND COMMERICAL DESCRIPTION FROM UNIBROUE
Style category: Unibroue-style White ale brewed with fruit
Unibroue announces the arrival of the latest addition to its popular Éphémère beers, this one enhanced with the mouth-watering taste of ripe pears.
Unibroue’s newest creation has a beautiful pale gold color and a medium, sustained effervescence, with notes of pear, sweet rolls and spices. “The new Éphémère Pear is a Belgian style white ale brewed with fruit with a white effervescent foam,” says Brewmaster Jerry Vietz. “Its mild ripe pear taste is complemented by a distinctive wheat acidity. It provides a feeling of freshness, intensified by a spicy finish.”
“Its light, refreshing taste makes it a perfect choice for any occasion,” adds Sylvain Bouchard, Unibroue’s Beer Sommelier. “The Éphémère Pear is great in a variety of delicious cocktails with enticing names such as Belle Hélène, Italian style Pear Soda, Pear Mai Sling, Éphémère Eternity and the Ultimate Pear Fizz, which should add a touch of whimsy to any summer party. And beer loving chefs and gourmets won’t be able to resist the new recipes we’ve concocted, such as the Brie en croûte with caramelized pears and beer, or the fish tacos with pear salsa.”
After a successful launch and rave reviews across Canada, Éphémère Pear has been available in the US since mid-May, in 750 mL cork and cage bottles, and on tap at various bars and restaurants across the country. But now isn’t the time to procrastinate, as this new Éphémère is a seasonal release and will therefore be available for a limited time only.
OUR BREWVIEW OF UNIBROUE’S ÉPHÉMÈRE PEAR
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
5.5 % ABV. Poured into the signature Unibroue Éphémère tulip-shaped glass, and served at 45°F. Pours a pale golden color, SRM value of 5. The white colored head pours an easy 4-finger height, and has a rocky, almost cotton ball like density with small and large bubbles. As the head collapses, the Brussels lacing it leaves behind is thick and even sheeted. (We ensured this was a “Beer Clean” glass).
The meniscus is medium rising. There is a gentle champagne bubbling throughout the beer. There was a yeast haze to the beer, due to the bottle conditioning. Unibroue beers are known for their great head retention, and this beer is no exception. nearly 5 minutes later, it still held a 1.5 inch head which is remarkable due to the acidity level in this beer. The rim color variation stays about the same.
Unibroue is very big on making sure that the yeast in the bottle is distributed throughout the pouring of the beer into the glass. For an illustration of their “pouring ritual”, visit this link.
AROMA / BOUQUET:
Immediately, upon opening the bottle you get the pear aromas. When you pour the beer into the glass, the pear aroma is much more evident, and fills the immediate space around the glass. Right behind the strong pear aromas are notes of banana, clove, lemons, white pepper, star anise, coriander, and cane sugar. There is almost a fresh baked breadiness bouquet in the mix from the wheat malts. However, make no mistake- the Pear aromas are the star component here.
Even though we performed the Unibroue pouring ritual (rousing up the yeast from the bottom of the bottle before even opening it) we were not able to extract all the yeast, until more of the beer was out of the bottle- we took our time with this one! When we finally were able to “shake” the yeast out from the bottom of the bottle and pour it into the glass, the beer (of course) became super cloudy, and the pear aromas along with the other aroma components became much more prominent.
Poached Green Anjou pears in Belgian Candi sugar, cloves, a hint of banana with a spicy phenol finish. It has a wonderful Belgian Witbier taste, but with the strong pear flavors. Almost like a “Poire Williams”. As mentioned above with the aroma / bouquet component, as we poured the yeast into the beer from the bottom of the bottle, (and as the beer warmed up) the pear flavors intensified. This is another one of the Unibroue beers whose flavors evolve and improve during consumption time.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
Medium bodied, upon first sip it has a nice tickle of the tip of the tongue, but then the acidity hits the rear sides of the tongue. With it’s mildly assertive wheat acidity, the drinkability factor is very high, which makes this a very sessionable beer. Without a doubt, this beer has the signature Unibroue sparkle, but not overtly so- the carbonation level is very appropriate. The finish is distinctively “pear”, with a bright, slightly dry and spicy freshness. It most definitely begs the drinker for that next inviting sip.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Here are links to food recipes from Unibroue’s website using ÉPHÉMÈRE PEAR:
BEER COCKTAILS USING ÉPHÉMÈRE PEAR
For more beer cocktail recipes using ÉPHÉMÈRE PEAR , click here.
What can we say about the beers that Master Brewer Jerry Vietz makes? We always cherish the opportunity to enjoy his creations with any occasion.
Super versatile, this beer will become a favorite for chefs that like to infuse beer in their cooking. Extremely drinkable and refreshing, we recommend picking up several bottles to enjoy at your next summertime gathering with family and friends, or cellar some now for the fall and wintertime holidays. The freshness and pleasant acidity will cut through the richness of many holiday foods. Of course- this beer BEGS to be paired with Moule-Frites; with some of the beer cooking the mussels!
Although it is excellent to enjoy now, we feel you could cellar Éphémère Pear for 3-5 years, while the fruitiness becomes more complex. Another must have, don’t miss out on trying it- for it is a seasonal release with limited availability!
Huge thanks go out to the following individuals for making this BrewView possible: Martine & Marie-Claude Geoffrion of DDMG Communications in Québec, Canada for contacting us, Andrew Murphy of Unibroue in Portland, Oregon (for sending us the beer samples), Jean-Yves Lacombe for providing images from Unibroue’s archives, and of course, Unibroue’s Master Brewer Jerry Vietz, for brewing another awesome beer in the Éphémère beer series… Très bien fait!