Brasserie Dubuisson’s SCALDIS (In Belgium it is known as “Bush”) is one of those beers that we enjoyed over many years. When we first discovered it, the availability was spotty at best. So when we could find it, enjoying one was always a cherished moment. Now more widely available through the great efforts of Vanberg & DeWulf, Scaldis can be enjoyed year-round to accompany any special event, or just when you would want a beautifully strong beer. (NOTE: The beer is marketed as “Scaldis” in the United States instead of its Belgian name of “Bush” in order to avoid any legal hassles that Anheuser-Busch InBev may raise up.)
Brasserie Dubuisson has deep roots and values that give it an authenticity that few breweries can boast… and that make it the oldest and most authentic brewery in Wallonia.
Created in 1769 by Joseph Leroy, the maternal grandfather of current manager Hugues Dubuisson, the Brasserie Dubuisson is the oldest brewery in Wallonia and is still situated on the same spot. Eight generations of brewers have succeeded each other in a direct line and the Brasserie Dubuisson is today still 100% independent.
In 1933, Alfred Dubuisson, Hugues’ grandfather, created a genuine fine Belgian beer in the English style, very fashionable at the time. He called his beer Bush Beer, the English translation of Bière Dubuisson. This beer, the recipe of which has remained unchanged for 75 years, is therefore one of Belgium’s oldest brands of beer still being sold.
From the very beginning, right up to the present day, the Brasserie Dubuisson has always remained true to its unchanging principles and values: – Remaining a 100% independent brewery.
In 1990, Hugues Dubuisson began a new era of growth for the brewery with the gradual expansion of the range (Scaldis de Noël in 1991, Scaldis Blonde in 1998, Cuvée des Trolls in 2000). The growth of the brewery has been speeding up since 2000 with the creation of two micro-breweries in Louvain-la-Neuve and Mons, a new visitors’ centre and the nearly complete renovation of the production facilities that is still going on until 2008 with the full renovation of the brewing room, the putting into service of a new bottling line and the extension of the capacity of the storage cellar.
In addition to the industrial investments made on the Pipaix site, Brasserie Dubuisson has also grown considerably in commercial terms since the end of the 20th century. Its production has gone from 14,000 hectolitres in 2000 to 22,000 hectolitres in 2007. Exports are also growing in size in these volumes and in 2008 represent nearly 25% of the brewery’s total volumes. Brasserie Dubuisson exports to around twenty countries, both near, such as France, Italy and Switzerland, and far, such as the United States, Australia, Vietnam and Chile. (Source: Brasserie Dubuisson)
OUR BREWVIEW ON BRASSERIE DUBUISSON SCALDIS
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
12% ABV. Poured into a tulip shaped glass at 52°F. Pours a classic amber color, with a 2 1/2 finger height head that is slightly off white, with dense tight bubbles. The meniscus in this beer is extremely slow rising. The head (because of the alcohol content) does collapse somewhat quickly, but the Brussels lacing left behind is extremely dense, even, tight and thick. (We ensured that the glass it was poured in was “Beer Clean.”) There is an 1/8″ head remaining throughout consumption time.
AROMA / BOUQUET:
The bouquet is very malty; caramel, butterscotch (as a positive quality in the beer) very little hop aroma. Wonderful yeast / biscuit aroma that is very well balanced. There is a fruity bouquet to it, but the beer is more forward with the caramel malt.
The initial taste is powerful; you can definitely taste the alcohol in this beer. Hugues Dubuisson makes no apologies in trying to “hide” the alcohol in Scaldis- nor should he! It is meant to be strong and powerful. Heavy in caramel, biscuit, and a wonderful fruity taste in the background. It almost has that “Special B” malt taste to it.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
The beer immediately hits the back of tongue and the top of the mouth with its alcohol “heat.” Scaldis is not overly carbonated, so the mouthfeel is definitely from the 12% ABV strength. There is a wonderful, rich caramel aftertaste that lingers. The hop bitterness is very minor in this case.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS: For the trained palate, raw milk cheeses. ENTRÈES: Anything spicy to match the “heat” in this beer. DESSERTS: Anything made with rich caramel, of course! Too many to mention…
Powerful, warming, Scaldis is “normally” enjoyed as an aperitif or after a meal. Enjoy it like you would a fine cognac or brandy. Enjoy slowly, and consume in moderation. The strength of this beer will catch up to you if you consume it in mass quantities! With that said, Scaldis is one of our absolute favorites. The recipe has remained pretty much the same since 1933. World class; seek this one out for sure!
DUBUISSON SCADIS AVAILABLE IN THE USA THROUGH VANBERG & DEWULF: