Saint Stefanus Beer Review: Exploring This Bottle-conditioned Brew

Saint Stefanus beer is an ancient Belgian Abbey beer. This drink has interesting features because the flavor and aroma depend on the drinker.

Saint stefanus beer review infographic

To understand this better, this complete beer review will detail the beer’s prominent characters, ingredients, and nutrition facts. Keep reading as we’ll also cover Saint Stefanus beer’s history and food pairings, plus more!

Saint Stefanus Beer Stats

Country Belgium
Brand Brouwerij Van Steenberge
Style Belgian Strong Ale/Abbey beer
Taste Banana, malt, yeast
Body Medium
ABV 7 percent
Flavors & Aromas Fruity, spicy yeast
Serving Temperature 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit

Tasting Notes

Saint Stefanus Tasting Profile
Appearance
7.9
Aroma
7.5
Flavor
7.6
Mouthfeel
8.1
7.8

Saint Stefanus Beer Review

St Stefanus Blonde is a bottle-conditioned beer. Thus, its appearance, aroma, and tasting notes change as it ages. Now let’s dive deeper into the beer’s key characteristics.

– Appearance

After brewing Saint Stefanus beer, it is stored in a cellar for about three months before release. The fresh release appears in two ways.

First, if you allow the bottle to stand for about 30 minutes and pour it gently into a glass, the beer appears clear with yeast sediments in the bottle. But if you swirl before pouring, you get a slightly hazy light amber beer with a substantial white head. The head is about three fingers thick with decent retention, leaving a few lacing on the glass wall.

Hazy light foamy appearance

However, if the beer has aged about six months, it pours a slightly cloudy deep amber color with orange tints and light carbonation. Also, the head is thick but less retained than the fresh batch.

– Aroma

St Stefanus blonde beer has multiple aromas. On the nose, a fresh batch of this beer aged for three months presents a blend of tropical and fruity notes, including banana, pine, and peach. Also, alcohol is prevalent.

But after six months, the aroma is a mix of spicy, Belgian yeast, earthy, and malty notes. Also, the banana note in this stage is more distinct than the initial release. The aroma ends with honey notes and an alcoholic presence.

– Mouthfeel

Generally, the beer is medium-bodied. However, the carbonation in the fresh batch is light, but it becomes lively upon aging. The aged version’s carbonation bubbles give the tongue a tingly feeling. Also, you get a creamy mouthfeel.

The beer finishes dry with a zesty and floral aftertaste and an alcohol heat that doesn’t linger.

– Flavor

Generally, the flavor follows the aroma. In the initial release, the beer presents banana hints with malty, caramel, spicy, and zesty notes. It is almost sweet with mild bitterness while swallowing.

Also, the six-month-aged Saint Stefanus beer maintains fruitiness with a dominant banana flavor. This is followed by a non-persistent honey sweetness with yeasty, earthy, and malty notes. Then you get a mild bitterness and alcohol warmth on the backend.

– Food Pairings

St Stefanus blonde is a Belgian strong ale that goes well with various foods. The beer is a perfect palate cleanser; thus, it washes off the greasiness in oily food and fried finger foods. We are talking about crispy noodle fries, deep-dish pizzas, donuts, fried chicken, and French fries.

Also, this beer can travel with soft cheeses like Brie, Roquefort, ricotta, feta, and cottage. In addition, you can pair St Stefanus beer with barbecues like smoked sausage, pork, or rib roast, thick steaks, and meat stews.

Beer and food pairings

Another valid combination is pasta with Bolognese, as the beer’s sweetness contrasts with the salty sauce. Also, the caramel and malty flavors can play the game with lasagna. We’re not excluding the likes of grilled chicken or turkey, fried fish, steamed mussels, and fresh salads.

When considering desserts, turn towards fruity desserts as they complement the beer’s fruitiness. Examples include banana cake, apple pie, banana pudding parfaits, and fruit salads. Also, creamy desserts are not bad, like milk chocolate, almond sweets, and Irish cream tiramisu.

Ingredients

Like we promised in the beginning, this St Stefanus blonde review also covers its ingredients. They include:

  • Barley malts (Pilsner and Munich)
  • Yeast
  • Water
  • Rice
  • Saaz hops
  • Sugar

Nutrition Facts

A 330ml bottle of St Stefanus beer contains about 188 calories, 14.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.6 grams of proteins. Thus, the beer is not fit for someone on a keto diet due to its high-calorie content. Also, the beer is not gluten-free.

The St Stefanus beer percentage in terms of alcohol is 7 percent, which is high and typical of a Belgian strong ale. With this in mind, you need to be careful of how much you drink as it may get you boozy. Also, take note that excess alcohol intake is unhealthy and results in weight gain.

History

St Stefanus blonde is a Belgian beer brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge brewery in Ertvelde. It is an Abbey beer of ancient origin brewed in 1784 by monks of St Stefanus monastery as an alternative to contaminated water.

The brewery has existed for six generations and is a recognized craft beer brewer in the country. During the reign of Paul Van Steenberge, the brewery experienced a series of developments before it was handed over to his son Jozef.

Facts about belgian strong

Later in 1962, Jozef initiated a partnership with St Stefanus monastery. Then in 1978, the production of St Stefanus beer was transferred to the Van Steenberge Brewery. Currently, Van Steenberge Brewery produces the beer for the monastery under the guidance of Jef Versele, who is Jozef’s grandson.

Saint Stefune beer is brewed with three different yeast strains, one of which was cultivated by the monks. It is an unpasteurized beer; thus, the yeasts are still active in the bottle. For this reason, the beer’s characteristics become more complex as it ages. Upon brewing, the beer is stored in a cellar for three months before it is released for sale.

Conclusion

Saint Stefanus beer is bottle-conditioned, so you determine its flavor profile. This is interesting for a brew, right? Here is a recap of our review so far:

  • Saint Stefanus beer is a Belgian strong ale with 7 percent ABV.
  • It is brewed with yeasts, Saaz hops, pilsner malt, Munich malt, rice, and water.
  • It is an unpasteurized beer and is best served between 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re curious about this beer, you can grab one at a liquor store, bar, or online store; it is also available in 750ml bottles.

5/5 - (16 votes)
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