Brasserie Craig Allen was founded in France in 2010 by owner Craig Allen, who studied malting, brewing and distilling science in Edinburgh, Scotland before taking on various jobs, including at breweries in the U.K., an malt whisky bottler and wineries in Burgundy. Deciding that he wanted to brew beers on his own, he settled his family in France, where he began the process of launching a brand. Since launching Brasserie Craig Allen, the beers have been produced at Belgium-based De Proefbrouwerij,  but Allen began construction on his own brewery earlier this year.

First released in 2011, Cuveé D’Oscar is a 7.5 percent ABV dunkelweisse brewed with wheat, Munich, Special B and chocolate malts as well as galena, nelson sauvin and nugget hops before being dry hopped with nelson sauvin. The beer is available year-round packaged in both 375ml bottles and 30l kegs.

Brasserie Craig Allen Cuvee D’Oscar bottle

The Brasserie Craig Allen website has more information:

This beer was inspired by the dark wheat beers or dunkelweisse of Germany. The use of wheat malt to make up about half of the grist gives a slight acidity and bready feel (think natural sour-dough bread.) The finish is dry and reminiscent of dark, bitter chocolate.

Cuvée d’Oscar is a dessert beer par excellence. It is extremely fruity and rich without being sweet or heavy on the palate. To be paired with a variety of sweets, particularly chocolate or fruit desserts.

The bottle opens with a satisfying pop after I pull the cork , and the Cuveé D’Oscar pours a cloudy, opaque amber, with two fingers of off-white head that stick around for quite a while. The lacing that remains after a few minutes of waiting is huge and fluffy, and aroma from the glass is a combination of strong wheat, floral hops, oak, lemon citrus, pepper and slight dark earth.

Brasserie Craig Allen Cuvee D’Oscar

Taking the first sip of the Cuveé D’Oscar, and the first thing I notice is a sweet orange citrus on the front of the palate that quickly gives way to a creamy wheat flavor, along with other notes of dough, malt, yeast oak and earth. There is a noticeable bitterness on the finish that is almost, but not quite sour, and it clashes with the rest of the profile in a fairly significant way. While the carbonation level is excellent and the 7.5 percent ABV is well integrated, as the beer warms the biscuity bread flavor becomes dominant, leading to a very uneven experience.


Brasserie Craig Allen Cuveé D’Oscar
BREWERY: De Proefbrouwerij
LOCATION: Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium
STYLE: Dunkel Weiss
ABV: 7.5 percent
IBU: 26
PRICE: $7.99
AVAILABLE IN: 375ml Bottles
Having never tried anything from Brasserie Craig Allen, I was excited to see what the Cuveé D’Oscar had in store. What I found was a beer that, while flavorful, was lacking in both complexity and balance. While the wheat is a major player, the rest of the profile is at odds with itself, with a huge sweet citrus on the palate and bitterness on the finish that throws any thoughts of harmony out the window. The result is a beer with some interesting characteristics, but not enough balance to keep me coming back for more.
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