Brewing in the FLX: Brewery Ardennes

New brewery brings the best of Belgium to the Finger Lakes beer scene.
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Photo provided by Brewery Ardennes.

by David Diehl

Derek and Stacey Edinger, owners of Brewery Ardennes, are truly bringing Belgium to the Finger Lakes. When they visited Ardennes, they found many similarities in the charm of the country and what we have here from town to town.

No arguments here.

And what better way to inject all of the things that they love about Belgium into our region than beer.

“Stacey and I met at Cornell, I was a homebrewer and we both have a love for visiting breweries including Belgium. We love the Belgian style of beer, and we were fortunate enough to visit there a few times,” says Derek Edinger. “That’s what we are trying to do here. It’s a style that not a lot of people are focusing on and we think it is very approachable. A lot of it is generally not too hop-forward, malty, sweet, and diverse. There is something for everybody.”

“The physicality and climates of Belgium and the Finger Lakes are very similar. I don’t think they get quite as cold and probably not as much snow,” Stacey adds. “But Belgium feels eerily like the Finger Lakes when you drive around the small communities.”

With certain styles of beer getting a lot of their flavor profiles from the hop or malt content, Derek explains that Belgian influenced beers actually get their unique characteristics from the yeast. 

“If you know about wine, beer, and alcohol in general, you may think that yeast is there to turn sugar into alcohol. But certain yeasts can create flavors as well, including peppery, banana, bubblegum, clove, etc.”

Edinger’s favorite beer is his Belgian Tripel and he was excited to break down these brews of the Trappist monks:

Single: “A Belgian single, or a blonde – a light beer with a little bit of hop that the monks would drink with their meals.”

Dubbel: “An Abbey beer is dark and malty. That recipe goes back to the Middle Ages. That would be a beer that they would drink on a special occasion.” 

Tripel: “This is a little bit newer. It was invented early in the twentieth century. This is blonde in color, higher in alcohol, and it contains both hop and yeast flavor. Ours tastes really light and dry, but it packs a punch.”

Quadruple: “Not every place makes a quad – it’s like a double-double. Dark in color because of the malts, with candied or confectionary sugar. Add this to the yeast and it creates all kinds of complex flavors. Expect raisin, roast, and chocolate”

Located on Snell Road at a majestic farmhouse in Geneva, Brewery Ardennes is hosting its Grand Opening today, Wednesday, May 19th. Both the Dubbel and Tripel will be available on draught and in specialty bottles.

Brewery Ardennes; 570 Snell Road, Geneva NY 14456

It was always a goal for David Diehl to return to the Finger Lakes and make an imprint on the beer culture of the region. A Hobart & William Smith Colleges graduate, Diehl spent over a decade in Brooklyn and is excited to be back and taking on Finger Lakes craft beer reviews and commentaries for EdibleFingerLakes.com.  He has also been published in Inked Magazine, YRB Magazine, Nerve.com, and The Finger Lakes Times. You can follow his work at FLXWORDS.com.

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