Unibroue Trois PistolesView other Beers
Unibroue Trois Pistoles, Unibroue, Quebec
Unibroue is a Canadian brewery, situated in Quebec, that produces Belgian-style ales. The company started off as a distributor in 1990, having purchased a 75% in the struggling “La Brasserie Massawippi”. By 1992, the brewery was wholly owned by Unibroue. Having started out with a brewing capacity of 30,000 hectoliters, a major investment increased this to 180,000 in 1996.
The current range of Unibroue brews (in order of introduction) is:
Blanche de Chambly (listed on epinions)
Fin du monde
Unibroue beers are bottle-conditioned, with a live yeast sediment, meaning that they will referment in the bottle, carbonate naturally and improve with age. They are only partially filtered and brewed with only pure ingredients. Furthermore, the manufacture of a beer at Unibroue requires over eight weeks compared to 10-20 days for mass-produced beers and three to four weeks for most craft beers. The brewing techniques borrow much from traditional Belgian ale brewing, which are not unknown in North American, but certainly rare.
Unibroue beers, although I’m not sure which ones, are available all over the USA and Canada, and are becoming more widespread in Europe as well as Australia.
Trois Pistoles: First Impressions
This beer was introduced in 1997, and is described by the brewer simply as a “beer on lees”, which merely refers to the yeast sediment. You’ll learn very little else about the beer from the bottle or the website. It’s a Belgian style ale and it’s strong (9% ABV).
This beer immediately followed my Chimay Grande Reserve experience, a well known bottle conditioned Belgian ale which also happened to be the same ABV. So I wasn’t going to be fooled by any poor imitations.
There’s a reassuring best before date, no worries there, 06/29/03. In fact the beer is recommended to be stored and improves with age. There’s something of a mystical illustration on the from of the bottle, a winged horse flying above an old building with three domed spires, all shaded in various degrees of light crimson to brown. What exactly were the “trois pistoles” that the name refers to? “Pistolet” is the French word for gun, so the translation is not as obvious as it may seem. I searched in my dictionary to see if there were references to a spire or tower but was unable to find the answer. Why doesn’t the website or the bottle offer me an explanation? Is this all supposed to add to the mystique?
An explanation from the ever-wise Lew Bryson:
The image on the label is a scene from a particularly
French bit of Quebeçois folklore. Short version: the Devil finds himself at
loose ends one day, and takes a bet he can finish building a village's church in
a day. He does, and a marvelous job he does.
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