Within the cosy confines of The Princess of Wales pub in London’s Primrose Hill, we spent an illuminating evening with our Master Brewer Jef Versele.
With St. Stefanus flowing alongside palate-balancing plates of cheese, Jef regaled a select group of craft beer aficionados and Glyn Clarke, our lucky competition winner, on the history of St. Stefanus, the Versele family brewery, and how the two fortuitously collided to create the beer we produce today.
Jef advised the gathering on the perfect temperature to home cellar and enjoy St. Stefanus – store lower than eight degrees celsius and the Jermanus yeast responsible for the refermentation process will die. Lose that, and you lose the very reason why we are the living beer.
For tasting notes, Jef explained how a younger, livelier St. Stefanus will have more CO2, demanding a slightly higher pour. As the beer ages, developing sweeter richer notes, fans of food pairings will enjoy a slice or two of brie with a more mature St. Stefanus.
Indeed, some of you will perhaps be surprised to learn that the tasting notes of beer are fuller than wine, making it a surprise winner in the cheese pairing stakes. Jef recommends a rich blue with our Grand Cru. A rare treat to enjoy with friends.
Our competition winner Glyn was able to put to Jef the insightful question that won him his place at the table. He asked, “Will you come and collaboratively brew a beer with me at my pub?” Of course, Jef agreed!
The beauty of St. Stefanus lies in its uniqueness: no two bottles will ever taste exactly the same. And perhaps this, combined with Jef’s passion and commitment, is why our Master Brewer can be found brewing and testing in quiet secrecy on a Sunday, engrossed in and enchanted by this very special beer.
Find out more about the living beer and start your own ageing adventure at home with St. Stefanus here.