Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Belgian Grand Cru on Tap mid-November

Despite one person claiming my Tripel was infected or something, it was consumed fast. So instead of waiting until December 1st to release the next beer in the Haunted Beer Series, I have decided to release the Grand Cru mid-month on Wednesday Nov. 16th.

For those that already know and love Belgians this blog won’t impress you, but I think there needs to be a clarification so those that aren’t used to drinking Belgian-style beers know what they are getting into (certain flavors are expected). In general Belgian yeast will put out more esters (fruit and floral) and some people describe it as a nice dirty flavor (similar to the desirable characteristics of stinky cheeses) Since most Belgian beers are not filtered many will still have a yeasty aroma or flavor and this is acceptable.

Belgian brewers generally despise beer categories or styles so when you talk to these people they only refer to BRANDS and what characteristics come from each. We Americans need to put every beer in a little box and call it something. In my opinion the Belgian-style beer box is very big and anything that uses a yeast that from Belgian is classified as a Belgian. Simple. The complication lies that beer geeks have sub-classified these into more boxes.

Light Belgians: witbier, Belgian pale ale, saison, biere de garde

Strong or Trappist: blonde ale, dubbel, tripel. quadrupel, golden strong, golden dark (it is technically only a Trappist beer when it has been brewed by one of 7 breweries)

Sours: Flanders Red, Flanders Brown, Lambic, Gueze, and Fruit Lambic, wild fermentations (brett, pedio, lacto, etc

So this isn’t an all-inclusive list, for instance Belgian IPA’s are very becoming popular right now in beer circles. Where does “Grand Cru” fall in terms of style. Well, it is more of a special title than a style, similar to the word “reserve”. What style of beer is “brewers reserve?” You probably don’t care, but your interest has been sparked, because it sounds like something special. Grand Cru is the Belgian equivalent to this concept.

Our Grand Cru is based on a Golden Strong and has been aged with toasted oak spirals to simulate being aged in a barrel. I pick up very strong fruit notes of apricot and pear that come solely from the yeast. The oak flavor is very subtle and is hidden by most of the other flavors including the alcohol which is just under 9% ABV. Served responsibly in 10oz “Belgian-style” glasses. Come check it out at 4PM on Wednesday.


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