PROVIDENTIAL BELGIAN-STYLE GOLDEN ALE is our second beer BrewView from UNIBROUE. (Read our review on DON DE DIEU) Providential is one of two beers they brew for Trader Joe’s stores; the other being VINTAGE ALE which is released yearly around the US Thanksgiving holiday. We have always been highly impressed with Unibroue’s beers, and their Trader Joe’s products are no exception. We have enjoyed this one many times since it has been released…
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)
OUR BREWVIEW OF UNIBROUE PROVIDENTIAL BELGIAN-STYLE GOLDEN ALE
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
7.5 % ABV. Poured into a tulip-shaped glass, and served at 40°F. Pours a golden / straw color. The white colored head pours an easy 2.5-finger height, and is tightly bubbled and dense, rocky density. As the head collapses, the Brussels lacing it leaves behind is even. (We ensured this was a “Beer Clean” glass). The meniscus is slow rising. There was a haze to the beer, due to the bottle conditioning. 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, you get that classic Belgian-style Golden / Blonde ale bouquet; Poire Williams aromas- pears, peppery esters, mixed in with bright citrus (grapefruit). Lemony, even a hint of Diospyros kaki (Japanese Persimmons fruit).
Refreshing lemon and pink grapefruit citrus, prickly peppery heat from the spicy phenols and from the high “champagne” level of carbonation. There is a hop bitterness in the background which adds to the complexity of the taste.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
There is a great balance of dryness, tartness, and effervescence all at the same time. That is not easy to achieve in a beer, but Belgian Golden / Blonde ales are famous for this mouthfeel-palate. It fills the entire mouth in each sip with its sparkle.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS: A ploughman’s board with sharp and triple cheeses and assertive sausages.
ENTRÈES: Moules-Frites, Mexican and Asian dishes, glazed duck breast.
DESSERTS: Anything lemony. Poached pears, or poached persimmons in sugar.
Finding it at Trader Joe’s here in Redding, California for only $5.99 for a 750ML bottle- is an incredible bargain for the high level of quality this beer has! Available year-round, this is surely to become one of those “go-to” beers. Providential Belgian-Style Golden Ale is an excellent example of the Belgian Golden / Blonde ale style. For the price, we’d recommend buying several of them. Drink one now, and cellar the rest. You can age this beer up to 5 years. Seek this one out for sure!