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Heverlee’s master brewer, Joris Brams, shares his knowledge with NI bartenders

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee hosted a ‘meet and greet’ with Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams (pictured second from left), are (l-r) Connor Magill from Tennent’s NI Granny Annie’s owners Ryan and Willis McLaughlin.

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee hosted a ‘meet and greet’ with Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams (pictured second from left), are (l-r) Connor Magill from Tennent’s NI Granny Annie’s owners Ryan and Willis McLaughlin.

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee hosted a ‘meet and greet’ with Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams (pictured second from left), are (l-r) Connor Magill from Tennent’s NI Granny Annie’s owners Ryan and Willis McLaughlin.

 

From Medieval Monks to an Evening in Granny Annie’s with the company of Master Brewer Joris Brams

An evening at Granny Annie’s, Belfast’s newest venue to have opened its doors, completely dedicated to tasting Heverlee, Belgium’s much-lauded Premium Lager. What’s not to love?

Delighted to partner Granny Annie’s in opening Belfast newest venue and to have been the first to host a private function in it, Jeff Tosh, Sales Director, Tennent’s NI, said; “Granny Annie’s has a contemporary feel and a really nice atmosphere that was the perfect setting for our Heverlee beer tasting event.  We’ve been working with the owners Willis and Ryan McLaughlin for over a year and a half now, as although new to Belfast, the Granny Annie’s bar concept has rolled out first in Limavady and more recently in Derry-Londonderry.”

Appreciation of this premium Belgian Lager may seem all too easy but, as guests from trade and media discovered, there’s an art to serving up Heverlee’s celebrated ‘perfected pint’ … and appreciation is deepened when you find out what lies behind this great heritage-based beer.

Leading the show-and-tell, much to the admiration of bartenders and licensed trade representatives from across Northern Ireland, was Heverlee’s own master brewer Joris Brams.  There is no man better qualified to present Heverlee, for Joris, famously, is the man credited with its re-discovery.

Heverlee is derived from a centuries-old recipe originally used by medieval monks at the Abbey of the order of Premontre, just outside Joris’s hometown of Leuven. Beer was brewed there since 1129, providing refreshment almost exclusively destined for the monks and those who laboured on the Abbey lands.  Brewing stopped around 1500/1600 and the recipe was long forgotten until Joris began his research.

He was so impressed at the recipe he unearthed for a traditional yet hugely distinctive Belgian Pils, that he revived both the recipe and skills. Working with the monks and a local brewer, the ultra-smooth Heverlee of today was born, using barley, hops and a much slower, more traditional brewing process than the bigger Belgian brands to ensure a distinctive original Pils bitterness within its complex taste characteristics. Today Heverlee can proudly claim that it is once again deliciously brewed with ingredients and methods with roots dating back to Medieval times.

Heverlee is a Premium Belgian Lager with 4.8% alcohol by volume. It is what’s known as an ‘Abbey Beer’, only ever brewed in Belgium, still in association with the Abbey of Premontre in Leuven. It is made to a traditional Pils style recipe from malted barley, Noble Saaz aroma hops, yeast, maize and fresh water combine to create a light, crisp and balanced flavour.

Heverlee is served in a chalice glass designed to preserve the beer head and concentrate its flavours. In a dash of in-bar theatricality, the foam is traditionally sliced off with a knife, perhaps worryingly known as ‘beheading’, which removes the larger bubbles, protecting the liquid underneath from exposure to the air and maintaining the head’s bitter aromas.

But there’s even more to pouring what Heverlee has dubbed its ‘perfected pour’ and Joris has created a six step programme to guide bartenders through the exacting process.  Delivering perfection with every pour ensures that the customer always receives the beer as it should be, but it also reminds the bartender that this is a product like no other: worthy of respectful handling.

The Heverlee logo features the Abbey’s Latin motto ‘Ne Quid Nimis’, reflecting a philosophy of ‘life in balance’ The literal English translation of the Latin phrase is ‘nothing in excess’ … which is perhaps good advice when you discover a Beer as exceptional and great-tasting as Heverlee.

 

Pictured enjoying a Heverlee beer tasting hosted by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams (pictured far right), at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, are Heverlee Protégé Shay Bannon (left) and Ciaran McNally, from 39 Gordon Street.

Pictured enjoying a Heverlee beer tasting hosted by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams (pictured far right), at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, are Heverlee Protégé Shay Bannon (left) and Ciaran McNally, from 39 Gordon Street.

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee held a beer tasting, hosted a by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams, are (from left) Michael McGinn with Heverlee Protégés Anthony Feenan, Stormont Hotel, Erin Morrow, The Hudson Bar, Fred Lamont, The Adair Arms, Ballymena (who’ve been trained in the perfected pour).

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee held a beer tasting, hosted by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams, are (from left) Michael McGinn with Heverlee Protégés Anthony Feenan, Stormont Hotel, Erin Morrow, The Hudson Bar, Fred Lamont, The Adair Arms, Ballymena (who’ve been trained in the perfected pour).

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee held a beer tasting, hosted a by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams (pictured far right), are Maurice Glover (left) and Mark Glover, Hospitality Review NI.

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee held a beer tasting, hosted by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams (pictured far right), are Maurice Glover (left) and Mark Glover, Hospitality Review NI.

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee held a beer tasting, hosted a by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams, are Grace Walker and Heverlee Protégé Adam Newberry, Madison’s, who has been trained in the art of perfected pour.

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee held a beer tasting, hosted by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams, are Grace Walker and Heverlee Protégé Adam Newberry, Madison’s, who has been trained in the art of perfected pour.

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Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee held a beer tasting hosted a by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams, is (left) Heverlee Protégé Matthew Simms from The Portside Inn, who is trained in the perfected pour, and Colin Spears.

Pictured at Belfast’s newest venue, Granny Annie’s, where Heverlee held a beer tasting hosted by Heverlee master brewer Joris Brams, is (left) Heverlee Protégé Matthew Simms from The Portside Inn, who is trained in the perfected pour, and Colin Spears.

 

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