With roots dating back to 1295, St. Stefanus Blonde is the original abbey beer contracted to the Van Steenberge Brewery. To this day, it’s brewed with three different yeasts and matured for at least three months. This speciality Belgian Blonde beer is an unpasteurised, high fermented beer that is then refermented in the bottle.
As we age our beer, we constantly check to make sure it is maturing. Our Master Brewer holds regular tastings and will only release a batch when he decides it’s ready. Some of our abbey beers are stored in the cellar for longer than others. This is because our brewing process allows the beer to continue maturing for up to two and a half years. We encourage you to do the same so you can discover the different ages for yourself.
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BLONDE BEER TASTING NOTES
Developing character with age, your tasting experience will differ depending on how old the Blonde beer is when you choose to enjoy it. St. Stefanus Blonde pours a light golden colour with a good head that stays, lacing the glass as you drink it. It has a sweet caramel nose, with aromas of grapefruit, green apple, clove, cinnamon, banana and balancing hints of peach. On the palate it is balanced by a touch of sweet caramel, finishing with a dry, hoppy astringency. The golden colour has deepened and warmed slightly and the head has a more delicate, mousse-like texture. The citrus fruit aromas of the young beer have become more like candied peel, with hints of apricot and mango. On the palate, the sweetness has matured into deeper, orange marmalade notes with flickering hints of vanilla, toffee and almond. Altogether it’s rounder and more complex; a beer to savour.
BLONDE BEER STORAGE AND SERVING
- Store your beer out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry place (ideally in a cellar at around 8?).
- The 33cl bottles should be stored upright. Larger bottles can be stored on their side and should be turned from time to time to redistribute the yeast.
- Like all abbey beers, St. Stefanus Blonde should be served in its specially designed glass, the shape of which has been selected to release the full flavours and aromas while also protecting the foamy head.
- Make sure your glass is completely clean, give it a rinse and clean off any grease or wet spots.
- This Blonde beer is refermented in the bottle, which means you can decide which of the two ways you’d like to drink it: “clear” or “cloudy”.
- For a ”clear” beer: Do not shake the bottle. If it’s been stored on its side, let it settle for 30 minutes before pouring. When the beer has settled, pour gently and slowly, lifting the bottle away from the glass to aerate the liquid and give a good, thick head. Leave one finger’s width of beer in the bottom of the bottle.
- For a ”cloudy” serve: After following the same steps as above, pause after two thirds of the beer has been poured. Then give the bottle a swirl to mix the yeast into the remainder of the liquid. Pour the rest of the bottle into the glass and enjoy immediately.
- Serve at a cellar temperature of 8° which is warmer than the setting of most fridges. In fact, we recommend leaving the bottles at ambient temperature for 15 minutes before pouring so that the Blonde beer can rest and reach the ideal temperature. Then, as the beer warms in the glass, the flavours develop beautifully.
Our Master Brewer’s favourite way to drink St. Stefanus Blonde is “cloudy” as this is the serve with the fullest flavour and aroma. However, the final decision is up to you – you can choose how you want your beer to taste.
Discover more about the rich history of the Van Steenberge Brewery where our Belgian Blonde ale is crafted.