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Tag Archives: Easter Brunch

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.

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An Apple A Day

February 17, 2012

Pomme Lambic

Brouwerij Lindemans-Vlezenbeek, Belgium

Belgian Apple Lambic

3.5% ABV

Let’s be honest, when we started this project we believed two things. First, we believed we knew a lot about beer. Second: we believed that Lambics were beginner beers, nothing more than alcoholic sparkling cider. Wrong on both counts.

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Since we clearly couldn’t provide a satisfactory definition for Lambic, that seemed a logical starting point. Behold, the iPad app “BJCP Styles” (Beer Judge Certification Program) to the rescue. For those of us who are not beer experts, well-versed in styles and beer nuances, it is an invaluable tool.

Lambics are spontaneously fermented sour ales, from the the area in and around Brussels. They stem from a farmhouse brewing tradition several centuries old. Hops are used for a preservative effect rather than to provide bitterness. While lambics tend to be tart (think about the bite that a green apple has) they shouldn’t be vinegary or particularly acidic.

Before we aquired this knowledge about Lambics, we were biased. We imagined a smooth apple juice flavor with no depth. Considering our mutual, mostly negative, feelings going into the Lambic tasting, we were pleasantly surprised. The scent of apples was like a swift kick in the face. Despite a sweet start, it finishes bright, crisp, and clean. It certainly isn’t one note; the taste changes on your palate as you sip it. We can imagine serving this for Easter dinner with smoky glazed ham. It would also be a great brunch beverage, replacing the traditional mimosa.

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