Quarries and Hops


The Lefebvre brewery website informs us that for their beer, Hopus, it took two years of research to settle on five hop varieties from the best regions; they were chosen for their taste and the way they blended together.

With that in mind and the name Hopus proudly on the label I expected a bitterer brew than the one I was confronted with; a bit like getting tea when you expect coffee.

Notwithstanding my disappointment I tried to be objective as I emptied the glass.The beer looks good with a proud white head and deep golden colour. The aroma is fruity yeast with some flowery hop which continues into the taste; grassy herbal and fruit with a restrained sweetness, subdued bitterness and medium malt background. The 8.3% alc. Vol adds a nice mouth feel.

No doubt about it: Hopus is a well made, good looking Belgian strong ale; worth trying but in this category I’m going stick with Duvel.

Lefebvre brewery, located in Quenast in the Brabant region of Wallonia, has been an independent, family-run business since 1876 . To a large extent it owes its existence to the neighbouring porphyry quarries or rather, to the numerous workmen, made thirsty by stone working. Perhaps as a reminder of this background the brewery introduced Porph ale in 1960.

Although mining continues (the open-cast quarry is among the largest in Europe, with an area of 140 hectares, and a depth in places of 125 m) the beer is no longer produced. There are far fewer quarry workers today but I can’t believe that they have somehow become less thirsty.

Maybe they drink the brewery’s equally strong (5% alc. Vol ) Manneken pils? Who knows?