La ferme Brasserie Schoune est une entreprise familiale artisanale qui tient son nom de ses origines belges. Elle est située à 45 minutes au sud-ouest de Montréal, dans le village de Saint-Polycarpe, dans le Suroît en Montérégie.OK. Farm brewery. Family artistic business. Belgian styles. 45 minutes south-west of Montreal. My one little problem of confirming location just by the Ontario-Quebec border speaks a lot to the problems in the Canadian craft beer market. This place is about 2 hours drive to my east along a couple of the largest highways in the land. So I had to go to a shop in Gatineau, Quebec to find their stuff. That is nuts. So based on the language challenge, the interprovincial trade restrictions and local market focus for most craft brewers, this one may be a bit of a challenge in terms of finding information. Which is nuts if the quality of their white beer is anything to go by.
- À l'Érable Maple Ale: Clouded straw with white rim and foam. On the nose, like an oaked white beer and on the sip - what a treat. I had expected something with syrup and this appears to be the brewery's white beer with mapleness merging with the green hop to provide structure. Nutty, too. I just to a bunch of walnuts and with them, the citrus of the white comes out. The brewery even gives a recipe for making crepes with it. Dry finish with reasonable moreability. 5%. Two BAers reviewed it and obviously know nothing of the Lower St. Lawrence world of maple baked beans for breakfast.
- La Belge: 7% blond ale. Again, I like this a lot. Cloudy and very active orange-straw ale under white foam and rim. On the nose, orange peel and cream. The sip is full of pale malt graininess and roundness, too, but also a zing of orange peel and green hop. One one hand restrained but on the other that peel note also reminds me of a Creamsicle, which is a good part of any healthy diet. The effect is sort of blond meets dubbel but more blond that dubbel. Here is the brewery's blurb - apparently it has been reformulated as the label says 7% and the circa 2003 webpage says 8%. Mid-bottle, that orange peel sort of opens or morphs to green lemon grass like Sauvignon Blanc wine, slightly sour. 7 out of 7 BAers approve.
- Ambrée: I have to admit, if I see the word "amber" in the title of a beer, I do not buy it. Amber malt was a lightly nutty grainy lighter brown ingredient that is now rarely used. It is replaced by the macro-brewer usually by dulling caramel or colouring. I do not think that is the case in this beer but that is not enough to save it for me. The beer pours a fairly still caramel coloured ale under a white rim. On the nose there is sweetness and tang - the same tang as in the maple beer but the two do not fit well, the tang being too tangy. In the mouth I find this one off balance - too much of the musty burlap, too much tang. The bit of sweet malt there is just accentuates the sour. Oddly, I am in disagreement with the 3 BAers who rate it as satisfactory. Bad bottle?
- La Suroit: This is better. Pale golden ale clouded with yeast in suspension under white rim and foam. Upon a snort, the tell-tale sour tang is there but balanced by fruity malt. Lighter than La Blond, this beer is sweet for a pale ale but not as round as a blond. The malt has some grain and lots of pear, apple and apricot. The acid from the hop has some green vegetable and some tropical fruit. The body is light. I like. No one has reviewed this one on the Beer Advocate, something I have not seen outside of that one from the Basque region of France. BeerPal add these reviews and RateBeer says this.
- Reb'Ale: Fine white off white head over caramel cloudy ale. Very nice if not amazing. Good rich maltiness and a reasonable level of burlap in the yeast. Like a dubbel junior. We'll call it a "1.75". Fruit in the malt is light raisin, apple, maybe cherry. Very little by way of spice. Some huskiness to the grain. Yeast is milky-creamy which is one of the more attractive points. Soft water and no off flavours. Seven BAers all like it.