Holiday Beer Recipe - Le Courant Noir

2017-12-24 - Louis-Philippe Véronneau

It's holiday season once again, and while I'm waiting for the deserts I made for my family's Christmas party to finish cooking (I highly recommend Bon Apétit's Brûléed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie), I opened one of the beers I brewed recently.

And oh boy, what a success.

I've been brewing beer with 2 other friends for a few years now, and while we've brewed some excellent stuff in the past, I feel Le Courant Noir1 - a blackcurrant witbier-inspired ale - is my most resounding achievement.

This was my first time brewing with fresh fruits, and I'm very happy with the results. The beer has a very pleasant, sharp nose of blackcurrants and esters. To the taste, the blackcurrant comes through, but is counterbalanced by the malt and pretty high alcohol content (~8% ABV). The result is a tart, ever so slightly acidic fruity beer. I love it.

A glass of Courant Noir

So yeah, I thought I'd share the recipe in case you want to try replicating it. Try to get fresh blackcurrant, as what you are looking for is the tart taste of the blackcurrant. Using syrup, you're bound to get some jelly-like aftertaste.


The target boil volume is 25L and the target batch size 20L. I'm mashing with a pretty low efficiency (70%), so if you use a proper mash tun, you might want to use a little less grain.

Mash at 67°C and ferment at 19°C. Add the blackcurrants whole once the primary fermentation is over.


  • 2.8 kg x 2 row Pale Malt
  • 2.8 kg x White Wheat Malt
  • 1.0 kg x Munich Malt


  • 35 g x Saaz (4.4% alpha acid) - 60 min Boil
  • 25 g x Saaz (4.4% alpha acid) - 30 min Boil
  • 15 g x Saaz (4.4% alpha acid) - Dry Hop


  • White Labs Belgian Witbier Ale Yeast - WLP400


  • 25 g x Coriander Seeds (crushed) - 10 min Boil
  • 1.7 kg x Whole Blackcurrant


Here's a bonus picture of the pie I referenced earlier.

Pumpkin pie in the over in a cast iron pan

1 - Amongst other things, "courant noir" is the French word-for-word translation for blackcurrant. It's also a very bad translation pun Ⓐ ⚑.