new belgian: Viven

An American IPA from Belgium?

sit back, hold on to your pants, and wait for this stunner to come in from Belgium.   Not a American/Belgian yeast hybrid. This is a true IPA, packed with bags and bags of Amarillo  loveliness.

7.2 vol% strong, and 124 IBU bitter, from Belgium! 

You’ll all know that I’ve visited the US at several occasions, primarily to the west coast, the centre, well left coast of hop forward beers in the US.  One of my very best friends, the renowned brewer Rodger Davis (of the Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley)  was over with me in the UK, and Belgium back in November, where we went to the lovely little Brugge beerfest, now in it’s 3rd or 4th year.    Now those of you who know Rodger, will know him for his very hop forward ales, things like Denogonizer, IMMAXX and the like, from both Triple Rock and Drakes Brewing Co, of San Leandro, CA.

Now, when Rodger grabs you by the arm and says, “that’s a good beer” – I tend to listen.   It’s happened twice recently, when it comes to hoppy beers,  once that American Red Ale from Toccalmatto, called Surfin’ Hop and this beer, Viven IPA.   The main characteristics are those citric hoppy Amarillo flavours, in those cases always extremely present.

In Belgium some efforts were done to clone a typical American IPA, but so far nobody could make that typical IPA flavour.   The chaps behind Viven went to a very famous production brewery – De Proef, the same place where some of my favourite Mikkeller beers come from, and from a brewer who is one of my all time heroes of brewing Dirk Naudts.   Whilst Dirk runs the place, a space age laboratory of three breweries dedicated to high quality brewing and academic study (De Proef, being the Professor,  Dirk being a brewing Professor), it’s still up to you to come up with ideas about what you’d like brewed.    Not many a better way to get such a beer brewed!   There are many famous brewers using De Proef now, the likes of Tomme Arthur springs to mind immediately.  The knowledge under that roof is something to really behold!

But back to the beer.   The adage the more you know more you realise the little you know is especially true,  this beer I had to bring to the UK, and it’s brothers and sisters among the range.  Savouring the beer gives citric, grapefruit flavours, but in this case much more aromatic, flowery, and wonderfully hop bitter. Nosing is a true marvellous experience. So flowery, so fruity, so complex…. quite amazing really.  The beer has that orange, slightly hazy look. The foam has that nice green-yellow colour! Folks, this new beer embodies and reflects what an American IPA really should be.

The curious thing, is that the range isn’t a one trick pony,  yes the IPA is gorgeous, but the rest of the beers stack up well and do more than hold their own on the platform that the IPA has created.   I can’t wait for them to arrive.   They are available in 33cl on and 24x33cl from Cavedirect with kegs to order.

The image below you can see the really nice labels, the Porter is especially nice!


7 thoughts on “new belgian: Viven

  1. Quite the recomendation! If too guys are going to pick out a “must-try” IPA its the brewer from Triple Rock and “The Beer Traveller” Phil Lowry!

    Yes…That’s your new nickname. Embrace it, love it and learn to live with it. You are truely “The Beer Traveller”!

  2. Hi,

    Excellent quality Belgian IPA with that amazing load of American Amarillo hops!

    BTW: It is actually 8.0 vol% strong ! 😉

  3. Ok, serious comment.

    This was also recommended to me by the bloke in the Hopduvel shop in Gent. But I told him, I’ll get something else as I can get that from an online retailer in England.

    I finally stumped up and put in an order with BM the other day and it just arrived. (couldn’t wait any longer for those new Mikkeller’s to land) So I ordered both the Vivian Porter and IPA along with IPAs from Founders and Captain Laurence, Sommerland Gold and Revival from Moor and both bottles from Kernal.

    Hoppy beers some drinking in the sun!

  4. Supping the Viven Ale at the moment – it’s got a big malty aroma but there’s an incredible sharpness that soon kicks in. Very refreshing, very good drop.

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