La Fin du Monde is a Belgian-style tripel ale that I believe is one of the top beers brewed either here and by our neighbors to the north, and in the same league as the very best beers of this type from Belgium. The tripel refers to a strong, pale yellow-colored beer that’s generally dry-tasting brewed in the style of the Tripel of the famed Westmalle Trappist brewery in Flemish Belgium, which originated the style in the early 1930s.
Described by the brewer, fairly accurately – though necessarily corrected to the more proper U.S. American grammar:
“La Fin du Monde is…a deluxe beer made by triple fermentation and a unique way of straining the yeast. This method produces an unexpectedly subtle flavor. With its champagne-like effervescence, it has a vigorous presence in the mouth, which accentuates its strong personality. Slightly tart, with the balanced flavors of wild spices, malt and hops….”
My former next-door neighbor, a well-traveled Belgian beer aficionado, certified beer judge, and unrepentant hop-head, introduced this brewery and this beer to me years ago, claiming it as one of the highest quality versions of this style made in the world. He was absolutely right, as he usually is about Belgian-style beers, and La Fin du Monde has stood up very well in at least a couple of tastings with numerous Belgian and Belgian-style beers that I’ve helped to coordinate.
Though complex and a very serious beer, it is probably more approachable than many other high alcohol beers. La Fin du Monde is 9% alcohol by volume. This is due to its subtle hop characteristics and slight sweetness. Medium-bodied, it is a nicely well-balanced and flavorful beer that is obviously extremely well-made. And, with its refinement, it can be a gateway beer for those uninitiated to the wonders of strong Belgian-style beers.
As for the name, which means “the end of the world” in French; “This beer is brewed to honor of the great explorers, who believed they had reached the end of the world when they discovered America.” For what that’s worth. More so, “La Fin du Monde” sounds cool to pronounce, especially after a beer or two, even in terrible French like mine.