When we first found out that we were heading down to the San Francisco Bay Area for business travel at the end of September 2014, we immediately took the opportunity to pick up Belgian beers that are not available in our Redding, California market. It’s nice to travel- especially when someone is PAYING you to do so!
We took time to visit family in Livermore, which was good. On the way out of Livermore to Sonoma, we stopped at one of the best beer shops in California- Perry’s Liquor & Craft Beer. Perry’s made 34th place on the Rate Beer.com list of ‘Best Beer Retailers in the World’ in 2010. They also rank as the ‘8th Best Beer Retailer in California’. I had an objective in mind: pick up 4 really great beers (not available in the Redding market) that I could BrewView for the month of November. After much searching of Perry’s huge and diverse inventory, I made my choices. My first choice was from the B.O.M. Brewery out of Bree, Belgium. This BrewView is for their TRIPORTEUR FROM HEAVEN Triple Hop Golden Ale.
ABOUT THE B.O.M. BREWERY
BOM Brewery means Belgian Original Malt Bakery and brewery. In earlier days, each brewery had its own malt-house. Starting from this tradition, they bake their own malt as the first real malt bakery in the world. The concern here is that new speciality malts are created for each type of beer individually, in house. They beers are unique and artisanally homemade. Their first line of beers is called Triporteur. As Bert explains, the name ‘Triporteur’ means Tricycle- as depicted on the cartoon label. He further explains that many breweries in Belgium delivered their beers on a 3-wheeled bicycle in the old days.
The BOM Brewery create their own beer recipes that they brew according to the principle of the gypsy-brewery. This means that they hire the wort boilers of a brewery to brew their own beer. (Currently, that is being done by the Anders Brewery in Liege.) They are convinced that not the kettles determine the taste of the beer, but on the contrary the malt baker and the brewing master.
The Triporteur beers are their point of departure and their basic beers. Besides those, they also have launched a special beer line with once-off products. The beers are brewed using once-off kinds of malts or grains and will be put on the market under the collective name Special Roast Series.
BOM BREWER / BAKER
Bert Van Hecke started as home brewer at 18 and in his career learned the tricks of the trade in the breweries of Orval and Rodenbach. For a short while, he was cellar master at brewery Boon. As brew master at Sint-Bernardus, he put the Abt 12 Special Edition on the market to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the brewery, a beer that links up closely to Westvleteren 12. Quite an impressive resume for his first 17 years in the Belgian brewing industry!
As member of the jury at the World Beer Cups at Seattle, San Diego, Chicago and then again San Diego, he could fully indulge in his passion for beer, and it was there that he discovered the citrus properties of the American aromatic hops. He also worked for a while in the USA, at New Belgium.
In his search for quality and originality he found inspiration in the traditional way of working at Rodenbach, where in former days ‘the kiln’ was used to produce their own malt.
BOM MALT BAKERY
In his search for his ‘how do I do this myself and better’, Bert was inspired by the traditional way of working at Rodenbach where in earlier days ‘the oast’ was used for preparing their own malt.
He purchased a coffee burner and remodeled this to use it for creating his own special malt. He buys so-called ‘white’ malt and uses it for making new malt in function of each individual beer by baking the ‘white’ malt himself. Baking malt at low temperatures makes the malt smooth and light. Roasting malt at higher temperatures makes the malt darker and more intense. Super fresh malt is used for brewing beer within the 48 hours.
As Bert suggests, it is not the boilers that make the beer, it is the malt baker and the brewer. Bert creates an individual recipe for each single beer. The homemade malt is the basis for a secret composition of ingredients. On the basis of that secret recipe Bert himself brews in the boilers and kettles that he hires from Brewery Anders. He follows up the whole brewing process himself, from A to Z.
The website reads “Bom Style” when describing Triporteur from Heaven. What does that mean, exactly? We’ve read at one website describing it as a Pale Ale, and yet another as a Belgian Ale when describing the style. When we BrewViewed the beer, it tasted like a hoppy Belgian Golden ale. We decided to write directly to Bert to get his take on it, and here’s what he told us:
Thanks a lot for the email and the article you want to write. You can call it a Belgian Triple Hop Golden Ale. I want to let you know why I am calling it BOM style and not a specific Belgian style.
The idea about my beers was to brew “free-style” and not specific in a style. What can be worse as when someone would say, ” This tripel is a real real great beer, but as a triple it’s not as good as a Westmalle Tripel”. When a style should be a guideline it sometimes becomes too specific, making the “not-in-line-beers” sound worse. The first rapper who came up with a “song” was probably talking too much and not singing enough 🙂
Example: my Belgian beer doesn’t smell really funky “special yeast” Belgian, it has American aromatic hops, but it’s still a Belgian Ale and it has a triple background idea. So maybe you’ve given it the best description until now 🙂
Brewing beer and baking malt can only be done with qualitatively high and (by preference) authentic raw materials. This is an absolute necessity to create something new during baking the malt or in the course of the brewing process. All BOM raw materials used fit into a larger picture. There is not one single predominating ingredient. Bert personally chooses the grains, the basic malts, sugars and hops to guarantee the quality of the raw materials. They will never use artificial flavors or aromas. What you taste and smell is real!
Baking malt or grains in this way to create made-to-measure speciality malt, is unique in the world. They start off with grains that are either or not malted and that are baked or roasted at various temperatures in function of the beer in mind. Other ingredients are often added during baking. This makes the possibilities endless. Especially for this particular purpose a coffee burner was completely converted according to the strict BOM quality demands.
Only Bert knows the ingredients and the proportions of the secret blends. Only he masters the whole process. And still, he chooses to provide the consumer with abundant information on his product. He delivers all ingredients to the brewery.
A brewery could be described as a kind of sugar factory. The starch in the malt is transformed into sugars by mixing it with water and leaving it to rest at various temperatures. The yeast transforms these sugars into alcohol. The other ingredients such as speciality BOM malts and hops that are used, determine the taste. In this way the beer finally originates.
All BOM beers have a second fermentation in the bottle. Before the beer is bottled, a small portion of yeast and sugar are added to the beer. All sugar is eaten by the yeast and transformed into a little bit of alcohol and carbonic gas. The bottle is capped, preventing the gas to escape: it dissolves in the beer until the bottle is opened. This gives after opening the bubbles and the beautiful foam collar. (Source: BOM Brewery)
BEER STYLE AND COMMERICAL DESCRIPTION FROM B.O.M. BREWERY
Style category: Belgian Tripel Hop Golden Ale- BOM Style
A heavily hopped beer brewed using home-baked malt. Triporteur From Heaven is the modern version of traditional hopped ale. It is a heavenly beer brewed with 4 home-baked BOM malts. The wheat malt in the unfiltered beer can produce a light cloudiness. He uses Belgian dark and white candy sugar and uses 3 aromatic hops and 3 dry hopping. The taste of Heaven remains evolving in the bottle.
ABV 6.2% °p 13.5 EBU 28 EBC Golden
Belgian dark and white candy sugar.
Heaven gets is distinctive hoppy aroma from the European aromatic hop varieties East Kent Golding and Styrian Golding, and from the American Cascade hop. Early hop: East Kent Golding, Styrian Golding. Late hop: East Kent Golding, Styrian Golding, Cascade. Dry hop (minimum): Cascade, Styrian Golding.
Top yeast beer, second fermentation in the bottle.
Heaven is best served in the original BOM glass. The fruity and hoppy aromas get full play in it. Serving temperature is 5 – 8°C.
Heaven is best drunk young.
OUR BREWVIEW OF B.O.M. BREWERY TRIPORTEUR FROM HEAVEN
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
Poured into a tulip-shaped glass, and served at 55°F. (Our apologies Bert- we didn’t have a proper Triporteur glass!) Pours a medium-light golden color. The white colored head pours an easy 3-4 finger height, (due to the BOM wheat malts) and has a tightly bubbled, almost cotton-ball density.
As the head collapses, the Brussels lacing it leaves behind is very thick and even. (We ensured this was a “Beer Clean” glass). The meniscus is medium to slow rising. There was a yeast haze to the beer, due to the bottle conditioning and heavy yeast sedimentation. As you all know, we find that to be a GOOD thing!
AROMA / BOUQUET:
Beautiful aromas of fresh baked bread, fresh yeast, gentle sugared poached pears, and (of course) that herbal, earthy coriander bouquet. Gentle floral hop aromas are mixed in with the bready malts and yeasts. The spiciness of the beer really awakens your olfactories.
This is where Triporteur from Heaven sets itself apart from typical Belgian Tripel Hop Golden ales. We have mentioned in the past that in brewing, malt is pretty standard… hops are pretty standard… but the yeast is what gives beer its character. We still stand by that, but BOM Brewery’s top quality malts DO make a difference here. The flavors are a perfect mixture of malt-yeast-hops. You still get the spicy phenols from a Belgian Golden ale, (coriander) but on a much more refined level. Malt sweetness blends with delicious yeasts, and finished with Triple hop bitterness in a most unique way.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
The effervescence of Triporteur from Heaven is what makes it very refreshing to drink. The spiciness hits the front of the tongue, and the back of the mouth. The malt-yeast-hop balance is dry, but not overly so. It leaves you ready for that next sip.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS: Charcuterie, blue veined or triple cream cheeses, Boterhammen / Tartines.
ENTRÈES: Moule en Frite, Paling in ‘t groen, Sushi, pizzas with white cream sauces and veggies.
DESSERTS: Poached Forelle pears in Belgian candi sugar and vanilla, Pear Clafouti.
When we found Triporteur from Heaven on the shelves at Perry’s Liquor & Craft Beer, we were excited to have the chance to BrewView it! We were intrigued by the cartoon label first, and then the huge amount of yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, second.
Out of the four beers we chose to BrewView for the month of November, we knew Triporteur had to be the first one. Given what we read about Bert Van Hecke’s impressive brewing history, we were anticipating for this to be an exceptional beer- and how right we were!
Many people consider beers under 5% ABV to be ‘session’ beers. Truth be told, we consider a good Belgian beer that is delicious, very drinkable, and inviting you to take that next sip a session beer! At 6.2% ABV, Triporteur from Heaven is a beer that appeals to a wide range of palates, that would be excellent to cook with, and is suitable for many cuisines.
Being that the ‘Triporteur’ beers are Bert’s signature products, they are available year-round. This is a world class product, unlike any other Belgian Triple Hop Golden Ale you will taste. You have to try it to see what we mean. Seek this one out for sure- it’s a must have.
AVAILABLE IN THE USA FROM AUTHENTIC BEVERAGE MANAGEMENT: