Let it never be said that the Brothers Shelton don’t care deeply about the beers they import – and the people who buy them. We’ve elected to show some recent correspondence regarding a delectable but somewhat volatile bottle of beer because it’s an interesting look inside the relationship between a consumer, an importer, and a brewery — and hey, it’s not as though there’s that much else out there on the Internet that’s better to read.* * * * * * * *Gentlemen- please contact the brewers de Blaugies and tell them to learn how to bottle beer! I just opened a bottle of the Special Winter Ale, and the cork shot up to the ceiling and the beer spewed all over my bar, books, floor, self, and completely ruined my unread [name withheld to protect the unworthy] magazine. If we are to expect gushers then they should be labeled as such. The rest of the beer was good, but tainted due to the 15 minutes of cleaning I had to do first. I hope the rest of their beers are under control or they should go back to teaching!Jason Rich
* * * * * * * *Jason:Thanks for your letter. I am sorry, but not surprised, to hear about your little accident with a bottle of the Blaugies Special Winter. We’ve known about this problem for a very long time, and we’ve tried, in subtle ways, to warn the general populace about the dangers of real Saison beer. On our website, in our description of the Blaugies brewery, you will find the following:Like many saisons, the beer is over-lively in carbonation, due to conditioning in the bottle with perhaps a touch too much live yeast. This does give it a little youthful freshness to offset the impression of age and the strong “cellar” aromas.
I suppose, on reflection, that the wording is not quite strong enough. “Over-lively in carbonation” is not quite the same as “dangerously explosive,” is it? Still, our lawyers inform us that the wording is sufficient to ward off liability in the case of a class-action suit. (Actually, we don’t have a real lawyer, but I hope that what I just said about liability is true. Hey, why quibble?)If I could leave you with one thought, it would be this: A ‘spritzy’ aspect, and the threat of uninsured property damage, is an integral part of the appeal of a true Saison. You want a farmhouse character in a Saison beer, and there’s nothing more farmhouse than the smell of your clothing, skin, and hair a day after a bottle of good Saison explodes all over your apartment. You may not appreciate it right now, but you are enjoying a thoroughly authentic Belgian experience. Cheers! I wish I were there. I’m sure that by now you are beginning to understand the charm of an authentic farmhouse ale.
I am very sorry about the ceiling, the floor, the bar, and your self. It will take quite a few days for the “charm” to wear off, I’m afraid. But I’m not sorry so much about the [name withheld to protect the unworthy]. It’s just a bunch of fluff and advertising posing as journalism anyway. If all the pages are stuck together, and you can’t open it, you’re better off. I suggest, humbly, that you could more profitably spend your time perusing sheltonbrothers.com.
Our mom was born and raised in Muncie. Are you anywhere near there? Seriously, write to us. I want you to love Blaugies, and I’ll do whatever it takes.
Thanks for taking beer seriously.
Write to us any time with any questions. One question for you: Where did you buy that bottle of La Moneuse Special Winter?