by Thijs Kaagman Content Specialist at Beerwulf.com 18 August 2020
The beer with the pink elephant
If you are looking for a strong blond beer from Belgium, you have hundreds of beers to choose from. However, if you want to try a real icon of the style we have just the thing. One of the best-known is Delirium Tremens from Brouwerij Huyghe. We are going to tell you all about the beer with the pink elephant.
The original and most famous Delirium beer is the Delirium Tremens. "Delirium Tremens" comes from the condition with the same name, withdrawal symptoms that one can experience when abstaining from alcohol.
Delirium Tremens is a heavy blond beer, with 8.5% alcohol, a lot of carbon dioxide and a typical Belgian, fruity taste. According to the brewers, this mainly comes from the three different types of yeast that are used in the brewing process. The finish is sweet and slightly spicy.
The bottle of the Tremens is also iconic, because it is reminiscent of the old-fashioned pottery in which beers used to be served. The Delirium Tremens goblet has an asymmetrical base with ridge stem that is said to resemble an elephant's trunk.
The popularity of Delirium is not least due to its strong brand image, in particular the logo. You can recognise the soft blue background with the pink elephant anywhere. Like the name, the logo is a reference to a drug withdrawal phenomenon. It could also be a reference to the hallucinations that Dumbo has in the Disney film of the same name.
Either way, it has been a brilliant marketing move, as the elephant is very much sought after! All kinds of merchandise from bar mats, bottle openers to golf balls, socks and boxer shorts have become very popular. Do not be surprised if you see people walking around in a slightly intoxicated state with a pink elephant hat at a Belgian beer festival.
Delirium is not a brewery in itself, it is a brand name of Brouwerij Huyghe from the town of Melle in Belgium. According to the brewery, beer was brewed here as early as 1654, but since 1936 this has been done under the name Huyghe.
The Delirium Tremens was introduced in 1988 and it quickly became the brewery's most popular beer. So popular, in fact, that the recognisable blue colour with the pink elephant can be found prominently on the facade of the brewhouse.
However, it is not the brewery's only beer brand. The blond La Guillotine is also brewed, as is the abbey beer Averbode. In addition to a pilsner, you can also find exotic fruit beers under brands like Mongozo.
Delirium Tremens is not the only Delirium beer brewed at Brouwerij Huyghe. The permanent line-up includes:
Delirium Red: According to the brewer, an "excellent dessert beer" with a good balance between sweet and sour, with a fruity aroma of cherries.
Delirium Argentum: An amber-coloured beer that, thanks to notes of citrus and grapefruit and an existing hop scent, looks more like a (Belgian) IPA.
Delirium Nocturnum: A quadruple with clear notes of caramel, mocha and chocolate. An aftertaste that is both spicy and warming.
Delirium Christmas: As the name suggests, the Christmas beer is mainly brewed around Christmas. Caramel, spicy and 10% alcoholic.