As you guys know, we are all about championing the small, independent breweries of Europe, so including a beer from AB-InBev would seem the antithesis of this ethos. But every now and then we have to acknowledge that the big guys can make some decent beers.
At the height of its powers, AB-InBev owned in excess of 630 beer brands (not individual labels, but brands). I remember reading a statistic that one in every three beers served around the world was owned by AB-InBev. Mental!!
When the American company AmBev merged with Belgian giant Interbrew in 2004, one of the big decisions was to close the Hoegaarden brewery. This particular beer was fated to disappear. After many protests, the decision to close was reversed and this beer, along with more than a few others, continued.
A traditional Belgian Strong Golden Ale, it pours a lovely golden colour with just the slightest cloudiness. The aroma is pretty much all about the Belgian yeast, heavy on the banana with a hint of clove.
The body is quite crisp really, with biscuity grain and some yellow stone fruit, let’s say peach. There is a good bitterness that leads into the dry finish with a little prickly aftertaste. Really easy drinking for the ABV too.
The name is a reference to Ambiorix and the Belgae revolt against Caeser in 54BC, part of the Gallic Wars. The Belgian’s did well initially, but it didn’t end well!