Filou, a powerful thirst quencher
We Belgians are keen on our strong blonde beers and tripels. Having launched the Brigand and the Kasteel Tripel, Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck is now introducing you to Filou. This is a pure beer brewn with pils malts, Munich malts and three varieties of hops: Kent Golding, Safir and Saaz, without any further additives. The Kent Golding aroma hops provide the mildly fruity touches, the Safir accounts for the floral hints and the Saaz contributes a subtle hop bitterness and a slightly perfumed character.
This relative newcomer does not fit into the standard range of Kasteel beers. It is by no means a second Kasteel Tripel although it shares its yeast with its illustrious predecessor. Neither is it related to the rebellious Brigand with its label depicting a warrior with a ready-to-fire hand bow, proudly looking you in the eye. The difference: the Brigand is a far drier beer.
The development Filou, just like any new beer, involved a lengthy quest. It took no fewer than eight months before Xavier Van Honsebrouck, CEO and brewery owner, and head brewer Hans Mehuys were entirely satisfied with the recipe. Xavier, with plenty of pride: “We achieved what we set out to do. The Filou is a powerful beer that goes down smoothly. Taste a Filou and you will want a second. As a brewer, what more do you want?” Hans and Xavier describe their Filou as a ‘modern heavy blonde’ thanks to its quaffability.
Filou is all things to all people. Its name also goes down well: short and to the point, as well as easy to pronounce. The name rings a bell with everyone. The name ‘filou’ is originally French but could be used to refer to a cheeky young rascal. However, that goes a few steps too far for this born seducer of a beer. The Filou is charming but deceptive and before you know it, you are on your second or third glass.
The image on the Filou label stays in the mind. A little rascal, his cap nonchalantly planted on his head back to front, as he prepares to confront you. He takes aim at his target, closes one eye, flexes his muscles, fires his catapult and… bang, right on target. Cupid immediately springs to my mind, the tiny god who fires off his arrows at couples in love. However, this rascal looks a little bit less angelic, judging by the gaze he fires at us from the Filou glass and bottle. Filou is a strong blonde beer of the triple type that has been popular in Belgium since a year and day. If we are thinking of specialty beers, a strong blonde often springs to mind. The triple flows from the rich tradition of abbey beers. The ‘Triple’ denomination indicates a higher proportion of ingredients, and consequently an increased alcohol volume compared to the dark ‘dubbel’ or double. Filou has an alcohol volume of 8.5 per cent. After all, this rascal did not get its name without a reason. It goes down very easily for such a heavy chap.
Xavier Van Honsebrouck: “Quaffable strong blonde beers are in great demand, both in Belgium and abroad. This is a beer without any rough edges. It is beautifully balanced, the alcohol and bitterness are never predominant and its taste is mild, full-mouthed and round.”