By Michael Sears
President, Forest City Brewers
This week, I would like to highlight a recent gold medal winner in the World Beer Cup. The beer is Domaine Dupage French Style Country Ale, and the brewery is Two Brothers.
Two Brothers Brewing Company, of Warrenville, Ill., was founded by Jim and Jason Ebel in late 1996. They originally started their entrepreneurship as The Brewer’s Coop, a retail store catering to home beer- and wine-making. In 1992, The Brewer’s Coop opened its doors in Naperville, Ill., selling retail ingredients and equipment for the homebrewing community. In early 1996, they decided to take the plunge and start a brewery. Several months later, their dream became reality.
The brothers have steadily built a reputation for their craftsmanship and have become one of the Chicago area’s finest breweries that features a well-rounded and impressive portfolio of beers featuring year-round, seasonal, artisan and unique releases.
A few years back, Two Brotheres purchased the Roundhouse in Aurora, Ill. Once a famous restaurant of the late Walter Payton’s, this historic 70,000-square-foot, 157-year-old building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two Brothers Roundhouse is the oldest limestone roundhouse in the United States. If you are in the Aurora area, it is worth the time to stop in for a bite to eat and a pint … heck, who am I kidding, make that a few pints! Two Brothers Brewing Company is still 100 percent family owned.
Domaine Dupage French Style Country Ale is a year-round offering from Two Brothers that was inspired during the period the Ebel brothers lived in France. Upon pouring into a Belgium chalice, the appearance is a glowing copper/red hue and very clear-topped with a modest off-white head that dissipates very quickly, then holds a thin head that lasts on for a long time. Lacing is negligible.
The aroma has strong, sweet caramel malt mixed with dark fruits like dates and plum. Minor floral notes are present as well, possibly from the hops, which are very inviting.
The first taste presents a strong grainy taste up front with the dark fruits mingling and a touch of earthy tones. The hops kick in and balance this out nicely. The hops make a brief background statement, which provides the earthiness and a hint of bubblegum from the yeast. The finish transitions to residual sweetness and a hint of spiciness, which makes this crisp and smooth at the same time with nice, full flavor.
The mouthfeel is smooth, featuring a medium body, light carbonation and a crispness, making this well balanced, very enjoyable and quenching.
My overall impression is this is a very good French country ale and a good representation of the style. It is not hard to imagine why this won a gold medal at this year’s World Beer Cup. In my opinion, this would be a perfect beer companion for the upcoming warm summer evenings in your garden, back yard or on your deck with the stars as a backdrop and some good friends to enjoy it with.
Michael Sears is president of the Forest City Brewers. The Forest City Brewers is a homebrewing club dedicated to the art of finely crafted beer. The club meets the first Wednesday of each month at Thunder Bay Grille on East State Sreet. For more about Forest City Brewers, go to http://forestcitybrewers.org. If you have comments or recommendations, please contact Mike at email@example.com.
From the April 23-29, 2014, issue