Delirium Nocturnum
Elephants in the Dark


If I had to give a prize for packaging a beer it would  go to Delirium for the wonderful pink elephant and ceramic looking bottle, both of which have certainly contributed towards the tremendous success of the Huyghe family brewery. In 1906 Leon Huyghe bought the brewery in Mellen, which dated back to 1654.

The old name ‘Den Appel’ remained until 1936 when the brewery was rechristened after its owner. After WWII the future was based on lager and Dortmund style beer but with sales declining, in 1985 the brewery was radically reformed and the production was switched to top fermented beers; three years later just after Christmas the first of the Delirium family, Tremens was born.

Tremens was deservedly voted best beer in the world in 2008 in Illinois but what about its sibling, Nocturnum. Unlike Tremens the pink elephant takes prime place on the label and virtually shouts at you to take it from the shelf. A marketing ploy or is the beer just as good as its elder brother? Nocturnum is dark reddish brown with a good beige head.

Malty ripe fruit alcoholic aroma (8.5% alc.vol.). A touch sour at first then comes the sweetness and dry bitterness from the hops and roasted malt. The finish is  a good balance between sweet, sour and bitter. A nice beer for pink elephant lovers to drink at night but not world class; I preferred last week’s Moinette.