Hof Ten Dormaal: A Lost Art, Found

Let’s face it- life moves fast these days. I’m not complaining, as this ever-changing world has spawned fantastic innovations in almost every area of our lives. Beer has certainly benefitted. Hundreds of new breweries opened in the last year alone. Sometimes, however, in all that rush we start to take things for granted. Shortcuts are taken, corners get cut, and what was once an art is turned into business. That is what makes a brewery like Hof Ten Dormaal so remarkable- it has managed to retain both its traditional roots and methods while staying relevant in this society that demands creativity and innovation.

Hof 10 Dormaal BeerHof Ten Dormaal, located in Tildonk, Belgium, is one of the few true farmstead breweries still in existence. Every bit of grain and hops that goes into their brews is grown on their farm. Even their brewing equipment is powered by rapeseed oil from their fields. None of that would matter if their beers weren’t up to par, but let me tell you, these people make a truly magnificent product. From the first sip of their classic blond ale you will experience a level of complexity and care that must be tasted to be believed. This is traditional Belgian beer at its finest.

hof-10-2.pngBut Hof Ten Dormaal also ventures beyond the traditional with its Barrel Aged Series. A couple of years ago, Owner and Brewmaster Andre Jannsens made it his mission to find barrels from some of the world’s best distilleries and wineries to age his farmstead beers. From Scotland he bought casks from Ardbeg. He spoke to several of France’s coveted Cognac houses before selecting the perfect barrels. He added Sauterne, Madeira, and Port casks. Into these barrels he placed either his light crisp blond ale or his rich strong dark ale according to his instincts on what would pair best with a particular barrel. The results have been overwhelming. Vine & Table is proud to carry both the classic blond ale and a rotating selection of the Barrel Aged Series ales. Come in now while supplies last. You won’t be disappointed.

David Helt
-Beer Buyer for Vine & Table

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 Vine & Table #301