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Tag Archives: Belgium

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.

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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.