Review: BrewTous' Sympathy for the Devil (Dry Hopped Belgian Blonde Ale)

This time last year I went on my very first trip since COVID hit in 2020. I met up with one of my best buddies in the entire world for the week but unfortunately he had to work like a normal person while I was in town for a bit so I decided to do something on my own for a couple days. I was thinking of doing a day or two in Dublin but something pulled me to Leuven, known as one of the beer capitals of the world because of it being home to Stella Artois. While I was in the region (as in NL/BE) there was a beer festival going on called Zythos Beer Festival. I'm someone whose favourite styles of beer are predominantly Belgian-style thanks to falling in love with Unibroue beers in the mid 2000s so a festival exclusively catered to breweries in Belgium, why not?!

I'm not familiar with transit in Belgium but somehow I got to the event from my hotel in Herent to the festival pretty quickly, with a one hour wait for busses in between - it was very simple, and I even met an American beer geek (who works at New Belgium Brewery in Colorado) when getting off the second bus, so I knew the beer fest was near by. In the few hours I was there, I met a bunch of new people (a LOT of Americans - which helped me feel more at home) but I also chatted a great deal with the brewers - Near the very end of the event I discovered BrewTous' beer stand and I chatted with their brewer/owner for a good amount of time, as well as with a woman who happened to live only a few hours from my town back in the day. I'm sampling all their beers I picked up at the event with me sampling their Sympathy for the Devil Dry Hopped Belgian Blonde Ale today, which tops out at 7.8% ABV.

Brewed with water, barley malt, hop, yeast, oats, spices and sugar

Appearance: Murky golden-orange body with a bit of sediment in the bottle (I aged this for a bit). The head is beautiful with a thick amount of off-white head on top.

Aroma: Very grainy with notes that reminds me of shovelling out grain at my parents farm - the oats are VERY aggressive in this beer which surprises me, but I also get a grassy and slight floral hop presence, a slight tartness to it, notes of lemon, a moderate breakfast cereal presence (like Alphabets) and a hint of honey at the end.

Taste: An interesting Belgian Blonde - it's got a moderate tart/sour presence to it, notes of lemon, as well as honey, a lot of graininess (barley, oats), a bit sugary sweet but fairly dry, kind of smooth, slight yeasty. Slightly spiced at the very end but not sure exactly what.

Overall Thoughts: A lot more oat-forward of a Belgian ale than I was expecting but it was pleasant, a tad tart (surprising) yet smooth and dry. It's sweet, has a very subtle hint of bubble gum and at points gives off notes that remind me of other Belgian beers I've been missing over the years.. ah, well! 

I have other beers by BrewTous' reviews from the archive coming in days! 

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