The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week:" Malheur Dark Ale

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Nov 11, 2009 7:00PM


Craft breweries may receive (deserved) recognition for the inventiveness they're using to raise the profile of beer in the marketplace. It's wise to remember that today's brewers are merely dusting off techniques that date back generations, to those first groups of friars who discovered that fermenting malt made for a nice loophole to their fasting. The brewing history of the De Landtsheer family starts in the 1600s, but Emmanuel "Manu" De Landtsheer's Malheur (French for "misfortune") listed his first beer for public consumption only 12 years ago. The Malheur brews we'd shank a man with a sharpened toothbrush handle for are the ones brewed in the "methode champenoise" style.

We're particularly fond of Malheur's Dark Brut Reserve, which is a wonderful beer for multiple course meals like mado's recent mutton dinner. Dry beers stimulate the appetite. Malheur Dark Brut's taste profile includes Belgian chocolate, black cherries, currants and prunes. The hops are Saaz, giving the beer a floral aroma.

We haven't been able to find Malheur Dark Brut in a wine or liquor store, but two bars that carry it at a hefty price tag are Hopleaf ($40) and the Publican ($45) for a 750 ml bottle.