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Ahoy, matey!*

Piraat Ale
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgian IPA
10.5% ABV

This somewhat sweet IPA pours clean with minimal head. Despite the high alcohol content, is a very easy drinking beer. One of the characteristics we have come to value most is balance. The drinkability of this beer is a testament to the well-matched hops and malts. The taste is reminiscent of a typical IPA with a more fruity and sweet aroma, like honey.

It is a tripel by strength; an IPA by history. This beer contains three times the malts of a normal beer and was designed to be taken by ship on long trips. According to legend, the daily distribution of a pint of ale kept the pirates in both good health and spirits.

Piraat is refermented in the bottle; a unique bottle that short and squatty but with a distinct neck. This style, also known as a “steinie”, was made popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. We like that it looks like a telescope — something you’d need on a ship. Wherever your travels take you, you should pack this beer as a stowaway.

*Warning: drinking Piraat IPA will make you want to talk like a pirate.

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Earthly Delights

Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale
Bierbrouwerji De Koningshoeven B.V.-Netherlands
Belgian Dark Ale
5% ABV

We expect a brown ale to hit all the important flavor notes: nutty, malty, and slightly sweet. Tilburg’s Dutch delivers in a big way. This is an easy beer to drink when there’s still a chill in the air but the sun is shining and you can smell spring trying to break through winter.

The perfect brown glass has an aroma of molasses. The taste of sweetness in this beer though is a clean sweetness, not syrupy or lingering. There is a slight hint of nuttiness. Letting the beer sit for a few minutes brings out the fig-like dried fruit notes.

You will undoubtedly notice the label depicting a bird-headed prince of hell eating a man. Yes, you read that right. It’s taken from the painting, “The Garden of Earthly Delight” by Hironymus Borsch. The triptych, painted in 1504, can be read as a moral warning on the dangers of “the flesh”. Seriously, just go look at the picture. We really can’t explain it. You have to see it. As you are trying to wrap your head around the picture, drink this beer.

Passion for the Pale

Union Jack
Firestone Walker Brewing Company – Paso Robles
IPA
7.5% ABV

Beer drinkers love any excuse for celebration. Thus, this month has been dubbed IPApril. Appropriately so, as the weather warms dark, rich stouts no longer satisfy the same way they did in the cold of winter. The floral hoppiness of IPAs give a nod to the new growth of spring. The grey drizzle that has thrown a blanket over Denver has brought with it the vivid spring green of new growth.

The staff at Euclid Hall is, by this point, well aware of our beer list challenge. A brief conversation about the remaining beers prompted Max and Jai to enthusiastically suggest Firestone Walker’s Union Jack. It’s a beautiful light amber beer with a golden hue. A slight head clings to the edges of the glass. The scent is subtle but fresh, citrusy, and floral from the four pounds of hops in each barrel of this beer.

Union Jack is a clean, crisp IPA. The hoppy notes are well balanced; while obvious, they don’t take over the beer. The first sip gives an unexpected sweetness, not cloying but fresh and almost nectar-like. The hops hit soon after with the complexity and depth that result from using a total of six different varieties of hops. The IPA lingers gloriously on the palate, both sweet and hoppy. Perfect for spring.

No rules, just right

Straffe Hendrik Brugs Quadrupel Ale
De Halve Maan Brewery-Bruges, Belgium
Quadrupel Ale
11% ABV

In conceiving of beer styles, it is easy to paint yourself into a corner. The trouble, though it is difficult to call it trouble when you’re drinking such good beer, with Quadrupel ales is that it is a very loose style. Also, where the Germans traditionally follow very strict brewing rules, the Belgians played fast and loose with their beer; with such an experimental nature, fantastic and complex beers developed.

This particular quad pours dark, with minimal head. The aromas are heavy with currants and cherries and a dark sugar sweetness. The initial flavor of the beer has a crispness and is slightly hoppy. As the beer sits, the richer flavors open and you begin to taste those sweet, fruity notes.

This is a great sipping beer. In discussing food pairings we can up with a variety of possibilities: tapas, buttered noodles, vegetarian entrees, and the simple but classic fig.

The complexity of this beer, the nuanced and layered notes, make it a challenge to adequately describe. Suffice it to say, it is a great beer to drink on a patio while enjoying a spring evening-which coincedentally is exactly what we did.

Buy Us Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack…and Tallboys in a Paper Bag…

Miller Genuine Draft
4.66% ABV
Miller Brewing Co.
Milwaukee, WI

Pabst Blue Ribbon
4.74% ABV
Pabst Brewing Co.
Woodbridge, IL

We get excited about many things in Colorado. Sunrises, sunsets, funny weather, and of course, the beginning of baseball season. Our Colorado Rockies steal and break our hearts every year.

For the past five years or so, we’ve spend the day with great girlfriends, great beer, and a great day at Coors Field cheering on the boys of summer.

We’ve become known in our circles of friends for being the “foodies” and “beer snobs”, the girls who only drink craft beer. This isn’t a bad thing. We may be guilty of bragging about our discerning palates and have definitely turned up our noses at the offerings from macro brew giants.

Then baseball season began. Given our challenge of drinking the beer list at Euclid Hall, we knew it would include Miller Genuine Draft (MGD) and Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) at some point. What better time than the Official start of baseball season in Colorado: the Rockies’ home opener. The best part? The beer comes in your own “guaranteed classy” paper bag. The second it arrives at the table you want to run outside, sit on the nearest stoop, and yell at passers-by, which is basically what happened after the game.

Both beers are light (less than 5% ABV) and quick drinks. Twenty-four ounces of cheap, light beer goes down fast when you’ve been sitting in the sun, eating sunflower seeds, and Twitter stalking your favorite local sportscaster (ours, for the record, is Vic Lombardi) all afternoon.

We encourage you to welcome summer, baseball season, and longer days with any beer that deserves your attention.

See you at the World Series!

Photos: Coors Field with Rockies purple and black balloons, and of course our nation’s flag; Stephanie, Stephani Basner, Vic Lombardi (!), Addie Berube, and Lia; MGD and PBR representing, and the girls (Addie, Lia, Stephani, and Stephanie) with our “Year of the Fan” rally towels at Coors Field.

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The Golden Age of Beer

Duvel
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV, Belgium
Belgian Golden Ale
ABV 8.5%

It’s a holiday weekend — time to celebrate! April 7 is National Beer Day (a legit-sounding enough holiday). Not ones to turn down a celebration of beer or America, we set out to kick off the weekend properly.

As (recovering) politicos and self-proclaimed booze aficionados, when we learned about this holiday we knew we had to celebrate. National Beer Day commemorates the day in 1933 that FDR signed a law allowing people to brew and sell beer — as long as it was below 4% ABV.

Easter is also celebrated this weekend. How fitting that this monumental piece of legislation began the ressurection of the American beer and spirits industry, as it was the first step in repealing Prohibition.

This effervescent beer is perfect for celebrating. Nearly as crisp and bubbly as champagne, it’s a light golden. This isn’t to say that it is simple. The layers in this beer are distinct and clean but combine to give a near perfect spring beer.

A tart, green apple flavor hits your palate first. A slightly yeasty, sweet maltiness fills in the body of the beer, which finishes with a slight, bright bitterness. We would happily serve and drink this beer at brunch; the light flavor and bubbles lend the right note for Easter or any spring celebration.

When words fail, hops deliver*

Torpedo Extra IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA
IPA
ABV 7.2%

Good things come in threes: Stooges, Little Pigs, and Musketeers. We would respectfully add Triple Hopped beer to that list. Sierra Nevada uses three different varieties of hops — magnum, crystal, and citra — added at three different times. The brewery also designed and built a piece of equipment, “The Torpedo”, which infuses more hop flavor and aroma than many standard methods.

Torpedo pours a light, golden-amber hue and leaves delicate lacing on the sides of the glass. We were lucky enough to be schooled by Marc Bayes of notyourdadsbeer.com a few weeks ago and he taught us that the lacing along the sides of the glass is a visual indicator of protein combined with the residue from hops.

Despite being a “super-hoppy” beer, the malts temper the hops and smooth out the flavor; making Tornado enjoyable for people who don’t gravitate toward IPAs (Stephanie) as well as those who love hoppy beers (Lia).

That’s hop-tastic.

*We take pride in our witty prose, and believe that you, gentle reader, will appreciate knowing it took us a good 25 minutes to come up with a title for our post. As budding wordsmiths and certifiable nerds, the barrage of terrible to ridiculous combinations was a small obstacle for us to overcome. For you. You’re welcome.