Straffe Hendrik Brugs Quadrupel Ale
De Halve Maan Brewery-Bruges, Belgium
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.