François Grand Cru
François is a full bodied, blonde beer of 9% alcohol, with a hint of hops, all well balanced in a bottle of 33cl. It is a strong beer with dry hopping and secondary fermentation in the bottle.
Master brewer Marc Knops has created the exclusive blonde beer FRANCOIS Grand Cru.
It is not just any beer. Master brewer Marc Knops has worked with utmost concentration on his latest beer. He wrote the recipe for “François” in his brewery Varenbroek in Reet, Province of Antwerp, Belgium. All his expertise, his lifetime’s knowledge and craftsmanship have been used to create it.
Marc Knops, master brewer telegraphic style
– Born on 31st of December 1962 in Wilrijk, Antwerp, Belgium
– Primary school in Wilrijk
– Secondary school VTI Kontich, Antwerp (technical school)
– 3 December 1979 first job at the brewery Maes in Waarloos (technical service and maintenance)
– 1980 Military service
– 1980 and following years:
• Evening school book keeping and computer science, secondary higher level in Mortsel (Antwerp) for 3 years, 3 evenings/week. Result: degree in book keeping and computer science
• 3 year weekend education at the brewery school in Gent (C.T.L. Voskenslaan). Result: degree in brewing and malting technology
• Education accountancy and taxation LBC high school Antwerp. Result: more certificates
• Language training English LBC Mortsel
– 1981-1985 Brewery Maes Waarloos, Antwerp (maintenance, production, fermentation, brewing rooms)
– 1983 Brewery Villers, Liezele, Puurs, Antwerp
– 1996 Start up brewery in Gespunsart, North of France
– 1998 Brewery Duysters, De Loterbol, Diest
– 1998 Bankruptcy brewery Villers
– 1999 Brewery Riva, Dentergem, Dentergems Witbier, Vondel, Lucifer
– 1999 Subcontracting job as demolisher at Inbev, demolition Lamot, Haacht, Hoegaarden
– 1999 Domus, Leuvendiggewitte, white beer with wheat 6.5%
– 2000 De Halve Maan, Hulst, Netherlands
– 2001-2007 Les Brasseurs in Brussels
– 2004 De Halve Maan Bruges, Brugse Zot, Straffe Hendrik
– 2004 Bought horticultural property, Reet, with the intention of building a brewery
– 2005 Brewery L’Imprimerie, in Saint-Job, ukkel, Brussels
– 2006 Brewery De Koninck, Berchem, Antwerp, Tripel d’Anvers
– 2007 Brewery De Landtsheer, Buggenhout, beer Malheur
– 2015 Brewery Varenbroek: Joske, Knots, Ambassadeur
– 2016 Brewery Varenbroek: Admiral
– 2017 Brewery Varenbroek: François Grand Cru
What makes “François Grand Cru” so special: 4 different yeasts and 4 different hops
Brewmaster Marc Knops selects with great care the Belgian malt at the malt house Dingemans in Stabroek, Antwerp. The company Dingemans is the number one for special malts.
The wheat malt or germinated barley goes through a malt crusher before it is being mixed with water. The brewmaster controls the rise the temperature of the mixture up to 78°. This process is called “mashing”, a term that finds its origin in the German brewing tradition.
The result of step one is called the “wort”. The wort is transferred, filtered and boiled. At this stage the brewmaster adds the primary hop, or the aroma hop, one of the most noble hops. This is followed by decanting in the same tank and the wort is cooled down to 22°C and an injected with oxygen.
Now the main yeasts are added.
Marc Knops selected 3 different yeasts to create the blonde beer François Grand Cru. This will enhance the intensity and complexity of the flavor formation.
The yeast will start the transformation of sugar into alcohol and co². At this moment we can already call it beer. The beer is cooled and transferred to the tanks for the ripening.
After this the “dry hopping” is started with 4 different kind of hops. This choice will give the François Grand Cru its balanced flavor profile. The further ripening of several weeks will eventually arrange for a natural clarification.
The brewmaster injects co² into the tanks to avoid oxidation. Thereafter the beer is transferred in the a clean tank. Finally the beer is ready to receive the last yeast, again a different one. After the bottling of the beer, the bottles undergo a second fermentation in a heated chamber for the final ripening.
After the bottling Marc Knops uses an innovative technique for the brewing process: the brewmaster swirls and turns all bottles to speed up the second fermentation and to minimize the oxygen solution in the bottle neck.
After a process of 3 months of “slow brewing” the blonde strong beer François Grand Cru is ready for tasting. Place the bottle always upright to refrigerate and slowly pour out the beer in a glass in a smooth movement. Gently pour out the beer, leaving an open space between it and the top of the bottle, avoiding the “glugging” behavior which disturbs the flow of liquid. This is our advice. Even more important, keep your beer in a dark place before drinking and avoid contact between the beer and the sun at all times. Enjoy!