Brasserie Dunham is a name many are familiar with. This is because Dunham have been creating some very fantastic beer since 2011. Over the past six years they have grown to become synonymous with Quebec craft beer. My first experience with them was their year round Pale Ale which immediately caught my attention. If you like hop forward beers, then Brasserie Dunham is where you want to go! The brewery itself is located in the eastern township of Dunham, Quebec which is just a short drive south east of Montreal. For me it’s short but really it’s about an hour away. Dunham, the township, was the first to be proclaimed a township in 1796. It would be a sure place to enjoy some great architecture, history and since they host an incredible brewery, it would make a perfect drunken sprawl.
Brasserie Dunham in my eyes is the Frankenstein of breweries, they create some of the most interesting contraptions they call beer. However, according to the chirping birds in the Quebec beer community Brasserie Dunham is a love or hate brewery as is their beer. I stand somewhere in between when it comes to their beer, there are beers that I absolutely love and others which I do not hate, but rather appreciate and still enjoy. Because even those that really experiment hard are never truly terrible. That is what sets brasserie Dunham apart from the lot. Experimentation without severe loss of quality!
The brewery began its inception on March 7 2010 to be precise, but they opened their doors in May of 2011. It seemed fitting today to post about them during their 6th Anniversary of inception. Be sure to check out their Birthday bottle release party which takes place every year around the second week of May. For their release, Brasserie Dunham, has set up an amazing system for which you can purchase your bottles online and pick them up whenever you deem fit! No need to wait countless hours and leave empty handed, Dunham will take care of you. Truly a brewery for the people, by the people. Oh wait, sorry got carried away, the brewery is by the beautiful soul Sébastien Gagnon, and the head brewery creating these magical recipes since 2012 and in charge of their to be rivaled barrel aged program is Eloi Deit.
For now I leave you with few of my favourites, with of course many others that I am not covering due to consumption having occurred during my pre blogging days.
Saison Fleurs is their Elderflower and honey Saison. This edition is the Saison Fleurs barrel-aged which was released a few months back. Although not rated very high on RateBeer, don’t let that fool you, This an absolutely spectacular Saison in my book.
It gives off a very rustic/sour aroma, which most great Saisons do. It has a sharp soury, berry after kick with a bit of rustiness. It’s a very flavourful and very interesting beer but flavours are still mellow for a Saison. Usually it’s because the Saison flavours really hit you in the face but with this it’s a very reserved (see what I did) and mellow attack rather than an intense one. Which creates a very delightful sway on your palate rather than a cringe. Very light to start, has an intensity, which is still fairly light, and ends with a mix of flavours.
Really enjoyed it!
First thoughts “Holy shit that’s good” I actually said it out loud. It’s insanely good. Not hop forward but oh my that flavour is intense! Although boasting a very high IBU, it really doesn’t taste bitter at all, as smooth as a baby’s bottom. It’s very smooth, so much so that you forget what you are drinking, and sipping turns into Formula One racing. Doesn’t taste boozy but it does have a certain strength to it and I have to say I am very impressed with this beer. Although I love hops and hop forward IPAs, this was a refresher of beer flavour and a nice change. Neither hoppy nor malty, but an explosion of various flavours which create a very enjoyable Imperial IPA like no other on the market.
Porters are a style that I have in more recent times been falling in love with. Stouts have always been too full bodied and heavy for my taste. But my dislike was never against dark beers, it was the feeling of fullness, and the drinkability of the dark beer which turned me away. A porter however is a dark beer that has much less body and has easy drinkability, and is slowly becoming my new matured style. Dunham’s Coco Chipotle porter was a surprise to the max, their combination of the coco and chipotle was executed fantastically. The chipotle peppers were very subtle and added just a tiny kick which was barely noticeable. At first you may be scared to try it but it will leave you satisfied and the fear will slowly disappear as you continue to down this beer. A truly fantastic Porter.
Dunham has many more amazing offerings which you will likely see surface on my blog. They have positioned themselves really well into my top Quebec brewers list. Can’t wait to see what’s in store next!
Written by HopCitizen. Photography by HopCitizen.