This spring half of Bread’n’Beer travelled to the lovely little country of Luxembourg, cosily nestled among France, Belgium and Germany. Thanks to certain job requirements it has been the fifth visit to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg over the last couple of years. So, the city of Luxembourg was pretty much familiar by now, and rural areas were calling, anxiously waiting to be explored.

30 minutes away from the city of Luxembourg, near the border with France and Belgium, there is a town of Bascharage with 8000 inhabitants. In 1975 two breweries – Brasserie Bofferding (established in 1842 by Jean-Baptiste Bofferding) and Brasserie Funck-Bricher (est. 1764) – were merged into Brasserie Nationale. Currently this brewery produces approximately 7 types of beer under brands Bofferding and Battin.

Main building of the brewery

 

Brewery’s logo on the old building

 

Hopfield near the brewery (in the town centre)

Unfortunately, brewery tours take place only in summer, so there was no possibility to take a sneak peak inside.

Not far from the largest brewery Brasserie Nationale there is a small Beierhaascht complex, which consists of – as strange as it may sound – of a hotel, butchery, and brewery. There is also a bar/restaurant located on the premises.

Beierhaascht produces 7-8 types of beer, but they only offer 4 types at the same time. During my visit they offered Black Stuff (schwarzbier), Ambree (amber ale), Helles (Dortmunder), and Donkel (dunkel). Needless to say, I tasted all of them.

Black Stuff

Appearance: coal-black body with white rather thick creamy head.

Aroma: slight notes of roasted malt, no hints of hops.

Taste: very light, with just a slight hint of roasted malt. Hoppy bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: very well balanced, yet light, watery.

Ambree

Appearance: light amber body, low white very long-lasting head (lasted till the bottom of the pint)

Aroma: no distinct aroma, just a slight note of malt.

Taste: very sweet, malty, with mild citrusy hops.

Mouthfeel: leaves the taste of citrus fruit and sweet malt.

Helles

Appearance: low head, light body, unfiltered

Aroma: balance of malt and hops.

Taste: very well balanced. Mild malty taste is followed by sharp hops, perhaps even peppers, but the finish is again malty sweet.

Mouthfeel: sharp aftertaste of hops.

Note: this is by far the best beer I’ve had in Luxembourg.

Donkel

Appearance: clear, dark amber body with reddish hue.

Aroma: hints of malt and caramel.

Taste: caramel malt rules here, but after a few sips the palate is pleased with hoppy bitterness, although very mild.

Mouthfeel: mild caramel.

Two evenings in a row I had the chance to visit a brewpub with a very resounding name – Big Beer Company. Although this brewpub goes by this promising name and declares celebrating its 500th anniversary (est. in 1511) and still operating in the original place, it is almost impossible to find information about it.

It is located in a newly restored quarter in the city of Luxembourg, which becomes alive after 10 p.m. – it’s the go-to area if you want to have fun.

This brewpub didn’t make it to the beer enthusiasts’ radar probably because it offers only one type of beer on tap – and not a very distinctive one – and 3-4 bottled brews (such as Budweiser or Guinness). Actually, they have a much larger assortment of wines – 40-50 different names.

Since I had nothing to choose from, I inevitably tasted the Big Beer Company’s Light beer. It’s an unfiltered hazy beer with white thickish long-lasting head. The aroma has slight hints of hops, but the taste is dominated by malt. The beer leaves mild hoppiness in the aftertaste.