In 1996, highly regarded brewing professor and engineer Dirk Naudts created De Proef Brouwerij near Gent, Belgium. Dirk Naudts is considered one of the leading brew masters in Belgium. De Proef (or “The Prof — Dirk’s nickname) is a highly scientific brewery that melds traditional brewing methods with modern equipment technologies. Versatility is a keyword when describing De Proef as each beer is made in a 9 Barrel brewhouse, which allows each beer to be specially crafted and unique.
Dirk’s brewing reputation spawned the collaboration project between De Proef and American brewers. Bell’s Brewing was the most recent participant in the collaboration. John Mallet of Bell’s visit De Proef, and together they brewed Van Twee or “From Two” in Flemish. Van Twee was first a dark brew, resembling a Porter, but also had traits of a Belgian Dubbel.
The finishing touch to Van Twee came from Bell’s home state of Michigan. Cherry juice squeezed from sour Michigan cherries were added to give Twee a dark, fruity character. Finally, sugar from Michigan sugar beets were used for bottle conditioning. (Sugar in bottle conditioning aids in bottle carbonation, but doesn’t contribute much to ABV over time.)
Other interesting notes about Van Twee —
Brettanomyces was used in primary fermentation. It adds to the Belgian flair. Van Twee is the 3rd in the SBS imports collaboration series. Twee will shelf well. Good one for now, and probably better later.
750 ml — Corked & Caged Bottles
Average Price 14.00 — Hop City, Tower, Greens
More on SBS Imports — www.sbs-imports.com
UPDATE! A rare cask of Van Twee will be tapping at Taco Mac Metropolis @ 6 pm 1/19/10 with Brewer/Founder Larry Bell.
UPDATE 2/15/10 – Van Twee will be available at Cypress Street Pint & Plate 2/16, 7pm