Monday, October 22, 2007

Brugge Brasserie's Lupulin L'Amore

Beer: Brugge Brasserie's Lupulin L'Amore
Brewery Location: Indianapolis, IN
Beer Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale/Blonde Ale
Serving Style: On Tap
ABV: 8.5%

The Brugge had five beers on tap when I was there and I have never heard of Lupulin L'Amore before. I asked the server about it and he said it was a blonde ale that was hopped like and IPA, so I said that was the beer for me.

It was presented in a Chalice with a solid sheet of white head and a floral bouquet that I picked up on when the beer passed by my nose as the waiter set it down. It pours a beautiful hazy-golden straw color that looks very inviting and ready to drink. The floral bouquet is a real winner on this beer. Scents of citrus and pine with bready malt overtones and a deep aroma of cloves and a touch of banana. The taste on this matches the scent perfectly. Wonderful hoppy bite on the front of the palate with hints of apple and fruity esters make their appearance as well. Medium carbination on this beer, but it still paired very well with my red meat dish I had for lunch. It is very satisfying on the palate. Mouthfeel is excellent and coats the tongue well and the alcohol is very well hidden.

I am not sure what style of beer this is though. The waiter called it a Blonde ale/Strong ale, but I really think it tastes and has the characteristics of a Belgian IPA. Clearly you can taste some strong amarillo hops in this beer, and it really reminded me of La Chouffe's Houblon IPA. I guess it still is a blonde though that is hopped like an IPA. If you anyone else knows different please let me know.

I really enjoyed this beer, and I hope they keep producing this beer, and maybe even eventually start selling the beer.

4.25 out of 5.

Update: Jim Matt the creator of this beer has been kind enough to give me a nice update on where this beer began and what style it actually is. He says the beer is actually a "hoppy triple." I can see that now that it's been pointed out to me. The Brugge made this beer from Jim's home brewing recipe and entered it into the Pro-AM at the Great American Beer Fest. Thanks for the info Jim.


CorrND said...

My wife and I have also had a craving for Brugge recently, having gone twice in the last 2 weeks. I also had the Lupulin (agreed, very tasty) and she had the Thunder Monkey.

I'm really craving a Tripel de Ripple, though, and they haven't had it on tap the last couple times we've been there. Nov. 1st can't come soon enough!

Matt said...

Even without the beer I really like the Brugge.

The Tripel De Ripple is one of the beers that will be commercially available, and I hope the timeline sticks this time around.

I wonder if there will be training at the restaurants/bars that will be serving them. Most places probably won't serve at the correct temperature or proper glassware.

Jim said...

Hi Matt, thanks for the comments on the Lupulin L'Amore. I make a homebrew by the (slightly different) name Lupulin L'Amour, and Ted was kind enough to brew my recipe at Brugge, in order to enter it in the Pro-Am competition of the GABF. Indeed, the inspiration for this beer came to me over a year ago when I tried the Houblon de Chouffe, and I said, "I can make this at home!" So I did, and Ted was impressed enough with it that he brewed it. Alas, we did not win a medal in the Pro-Am, but I hear positive comments all of the time. As long as people like it, that is all I care about. Cheers!

Matt said...


Thanks for stopping by. I didn't realize that is how this beer came to fruition. It's really cool that Ted made someone's home brew creation, and that actually makes me like it a little better.

How would you classify the beer? Would you call it a blonde/strong or an IPA? Will this beer continue to be available do you know?

Either way, great effort and great beer.

As far as the medal goes, they gave Hamm's a gold medal in the American Lager competition, so I guess it's like a Grammy. Sure you win, but who really cares? We all know it's great beer and like said that is what matters.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Matt, as far as BJCP styles go, the homebrew version was entered as a Belgian Specialty ale, and won third place at the State Fair in this category. Definitely it is not an American or English IPA by any stretch. When someone asks me to describe it, I call it a "hoppy Tripel" as the grain bill is much like that for a Tripel (Ted and I used a Belgian yeast strain, although he and I used different ones), but it is way hopped up relative to a traditional Belgian (or Belgian style) Tripel. It doesn't really fit into any one style/category, hence I suspect that made it a difficult beer to judge.

Matt said...


Thanks again for the reply. Great job with the beer, and I hope to see more from you out there.

If you ever need a taste tester my calendar is usually open for events such at this. Happy brewing!

Jim said...

Thanks again Matt, I appreciate it. Ted did a great job of scaling up the homebrew recipe; the commercial version is a bit darker in color, and the yeast flavor is slightly different, but it is just as delicious and surprisingly, quite the crowd pleaser (one would not think that such a hoppy ale would be popular to the masses, but it is, apparently). If you are interested in "seeing" this beer again, I'd suggest talking to Ted directly. I don't have any control in these matters, but if enough people request it, maybe he will brew it again? I know it is a regular on my homebrew schedule.

Just to acknowledge some other people, I am a new member of a club of excellent brewers, called the MECA homebrew club (Indiana Homebrew Club of the Year).

Mike (one of the other MECA members) had his beer, Equilibrium Imperial IPA on tap at the Ram and also entered in the Pro-Am. MECA member Bill Ballinger won best-of-show with his American Pale Ale in the Indiana State Fair (Serenity now), had it brewed at the Broadripple Brewpub, and it will be on tap next month. We have no shortage of homebrew recipes being commercially brewed!

CorrND said...

Jim -- Wow, this is great for the homebrew crowd! I had your Lupulin about two weeks ago and returned the following week to get it again! Great stuff.

Regarding this:

"Mike (one of the other MECA members) had his beer, Equilibrium Imperial IPA on tap at the Ram..."

Is that the downtown Ram? Or the Fishers Ram? Hopefully downtown (or both) cause I'd love to try it. For me, Fishers is a bit far to be driving to taste beer and drive all the way home.

Jim said...

It was the downtown location, however the Equilibrium is long gone (sadly). Watch for the Serenity Now at the Broadripple Brew Pub in a few weeks!

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