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Monthly Archives: May 2012

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.