Obscure art or exact science? What are our beers made of? Even if it is possible to make brews with many different sugars and cereals (rice, corn, etc.), our beers are designed following the purest brewing tradition, with simple ingredients, that are natural and easily accessible: water, malt, hops and yeast. It’s up to our brewmaster and his techniques that lead us to the delicious, natural and resfreshing brews you’ve grown to love.
Take the time to learn a little more about the ingredients and find out what makes our beers taste so good!
Water makes up 90% to 95% of a beer’s composition, so having excellent water is essential to producing superior beer. The water that goes into a bottle of Boréale is treated with the greatest care: it’s carbon-filtered to remove all impurities and constantly monitored to ensure that its mineral content meets our standards.
Hop, known in Latin as Humulus lupulus, is a plant whose flowers are picked and dried before being used for brewing. Often considered one of the main ingredients in beer, hop actually accounts for only 1% to 3% of a beer’s content, but it still plays a major role in the brewing process.With its antiseptic properties, hop is a natural preservative. But it’s mostly known for the flavour it imparts to the beer. Added at the start of the boil, a hop creates bitterness; added at the end of the boil, it adds to a beer’s delicious aromas, of pine, resin, citrus, tropical fruit… There are as many aromas as there are hops. Some beers, like the ones in our Bitter Collection, are also treated with a process known as “dry hopping,” which intensifies the precious aromas.
The main ingredient in beer, “malt” is actually a generic term for several kinds of grain, the most popular being barley. Once harvested, the barley is soaked in water until it sprouts and is then roasted to stop the sprouting. The roasting time affects the colour and aromas of the grain. A well-roasted grain, for example, produces an amber or dark beer with aromas that go from toast or caramel on the lighter side, all the way to coffee and chocolate. The roasted grain, or malt, can now be used to brew beer. These grains are full of starch, which will be converted into sugar (maltose) during the brewing process. Boréale beers are “pure malt” because the sugar used in the brewing comes exclusively from our malt (the only exception being our Dorée, which also contains local honey).
The real star of the brewery? It’s not the brewmaster — it’s the yeast. This microscopic fungus transforms the sugar extracted from the malt into alcohol and CO2. There are dozens of different yeasts, each with its own special properties. That’s why Boréale beers have a distinctive style: they’re brewed using their own special yeasts.
Beer appreciation starts with observation. The beer should be poured into an appropriately shaped glass; the pour should produce a generous foam head. Now let your senses kick in: observe the beer’s colour, nuances, and clarity and the texture and retention of the head. It’s at this stage that you’ll really appreciate the amber hue of an ale, the slight cloudiness of a witbier, or the creamy head on a stout.
Taste, it turns out, is largely a matter of smell. When you inhale a beer’s aromas, you’re picking up on subtle variations in flavour and preparing your tastebuds for the beer’s full complexity. This is when you’ll want to play with your glass: swirl it gently to release the brew’s subtler notes. Take a deep whiff and try to identify the aromas. Is it a malted beer with hints of caramel, toast, and roasted grains? Or is it more hoppy, with notes of citrus, resin, or tropical fruits? So begins the adventure…
It’s time to taste your beer. Pull in a good mouthful and take the time to notice your impressions. The beer is revealing its flavours: bitterness, sweetness, acidity, sometimes even a salty note or two. This is where the beer reaches its full potential — when the nuances really come into play. Take your time and let the beer warm up slowly to release its full range of aromas.
A beer for every glass, and a glass for every beer. Choosing the right glass amplifies the tasting experience. Tall, narrow glasses are best for lighter beers, while round glasses enhance strong, dark beers.
This 20 oz glass is a bar and tavern staple. It holds more beer than most glasses and is also highly versatile, doing equal justice to Boréale’s Rousse, ISA or IPA.
A glass with straight edges, well suited for a beer such as our Blonde. The beer stays cold longer thanks to the thickness of the glass.
Typically used for wheat beers, this glass showcases the slight cloudiness of these unfiltered beers, while the widening at the top makes for a good head of foam.
This curvy number captures and enhances the aromas and flavours of any beer it holds — preferably a strong beer, which can then warm slowly in the palm of your hand.
This glass is intended for light beers and those with moderate alcohol content. The flared shape promotes a nice layer of head and brings out the creamy texture of our Noire.
Its roundness emphasizes the delicate notes of honey of our Dorée. The slightly narrowed mouth propels the aromatic notes toward the nose.