A trip to America helped Olivier Duthoit and Mathieu Lesenne find the ingredient they needed
At the recent World Beer Awards in London, a 45-member judging panel sought out a pale beer to crown the globe’s finest. They tasted a variety of styles from kolschs to blondes to pale ales and a host of brews in between. The title didn’t go to Germany or America or Belgium or the Czech Republic, as you might have expected. Instead, they found the world’s best pale beer tucked into the corner of northwestern France.
Now, Brasserie du Pays Flamand’s Anosteké Blonde’s victory this past September is drawing the attention of international beer lovers to the pocket of French Flanders where its dynamic craft beer scene honors a long brewing heritage—but isn’t afraid to experiment.
It’s the second gong from the World Beer Awards the brewery on the outskirts of Lille—founded in 2006 by childhood friends Mathieu Lesenne and Olivier Duthoit—has won. In 2016, their Anosteké Saison was named the best in the category bière de garde. But this year’s triumph has given the brasserie greater visibility.
The judging panel praised the Anosteké Blonde, named after the Flemish expression “see you next time,” for having “Light dried-fruit characters, white chocolate and tropical fruit. Nice phenolic Belgian yeast character on the taste. Lovely full body and filling mouthfeel. Warming alcohol on the finish.”