2017 Advent Calendar – Day 11 – Brouwerij De Molen Dancer & Dasher

For the second beer post today, I’m writing about Day 11’s beer which is coming to us all the way from the Netherlands. This isn’t the first time we’ve had a beer from Brouwerij de Molen. In fact, this is the third time that we’ve see one of their beers.

In the 2016 calendar we had a Winter Saison, and in the 2014 advent calendar, we had the chance to try their Winter Porter. The beer we have from them is called “Dasher & Dancer” and is an Irish Red Ale.

The breweries name means “The Mill” and is located inside a historic windmill building called De Arkdulf, which was built in 1697.  As well as a brewery, they also have a retail business on site and a restaurant which creates food to pair with their beers.

Founded in 2004 by head brewer Menno Olivier, this brewery can produce 500 litres per batch with an annual production of 500 hectolitres.  The equipment at the brewery includes converted dairy tanks which are used as fermenters and the bottles are still capped and corked by hand.  Today the brewery can produce 2500 litres at a time and has an annual production of 6000 hectolitres due to the purchase of a new building 200 meters away from the mill.  One interesting thing about this brewery is that they do not dispose of unsatisfactory beer.  Instead, this beer is distilled into a “beer liqueur” at 20% abv and is then sold as well, reducing the spoilage of the beer, and allowing them to still make profit off bad batches.

Irish red ales are typically an easy drinking pint of beer. They have subtle flavours and are more malt forward with a balance between toffee/caramel sweetness and slightly grainy biscuit notes. Some versions, like this one, will emphasize the caramelly sweetness a bit more.

While it’s true that Ireland has a long tradition of ale brewing, this style of beer is an interpretation of the English Bitter with less hopping and a bit of roast to add colour and dryness. Having been rediscovered as a craft beer style in Ireland, it has now become quite a regular style in many brewery line-ups along side pale ales and stouts. Onto the beer.

Appearance – Pours a clear amber with a huge frothy white head.
Smell – Pine and Resinous hop note are the first things that come through for me on this beer. There is a biscuity caramel malt back end on the nose as well.
Taste – Taste is a very subtle version of the nose. There are those resinous pine hop notes that jump up right on the tongue before a subtle light caramel malt sweetness rushes in to push them aside. After the malt sweetness leaves you are left with a bitter dry finish.
Mouth Feel – Soft carbonation with a dry finish.
Overall Thoughts – Overall, I don’t really know where this one fits. The malt notes were overly subdued. The body was a bite on the light side for me and I was missing that caramel malt sweetness from this beer.
Do I like it? – I found this one to be lacking a bit for me. I didn’t really enjoy it overall, and I’m a big fan of these guys.


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