Now that the heat of summer has reached Pittsburgh and our cozy little no-air-conditioning apartment the time seemed right to pick up a sixer of chewy Belgian-style triple-fermented ale. Call me crazy I guess, I’m just not a wheat beer guy. At least I didn’t go for an oatmeal stout.
Weyerbacher makes their impressive selection of craft brews in Easton, PA, on the wrong side of the state as far as Steelers fans are concerned but at least on the right side of the New Jersey border. In classic trippel style Weyerbacher follows up the usual ale fermentation with a second round of fresh barley malt, and then adds a third dose of yeast and sugar just before sealing the bottle. The hardy strains of yeast needed for this kind of beer throw a party in-bottle for a while until they get wiped out by their own alcohol, leaving behind a rich-tasting protein haze and usually a bit of residual sugat. In fact Weyerbacher’s Merry Monks came across as less chewy than you’d expect from a trippel, as if the third wave of special-forces yeast didn’t have that much extra sugar to work with and transformed most of it to alcohol before dying off.
Under a short-lived head the cloudy straw beer tastes medium-rich, closer to balanced than sweet and giving off slight hints (to me, anyway) of peach fruit. Missing the chewy goodness that typifies Delirium, Chimay and Stoudt’s I believed that I was enjoying a trippel ‘lite’ until seeing the shocking 9.3% ABV. Jeesh, now I know where the malt sugar went. Approach with caution if you’re a cheapdate because this definitely doesn’t taste as big as it is. BAers think that it’s almost too sweet and taste banana rather than peach, so what the heck do I know.
Right now I’m working my way through a case of Dogfish Head’s superb 60 Minute IPA. Whats the difference between the 60, 90 and 120 minute IPAs? As near as I can tell the 60-minute follows the hops-over-malt rules of the American IPA variety, a bit bitter in the aftertaste but superb for its style. The 90 minute crams in quite a bit more malt and a more diverse arrangement of hops to create a rich, chewy IPA that transcends most to all of its rivals, while the 120 Minute pushes that recipe to simply insane levels, roughly resembling the biggest Scottish wee heavy in history.
What are you enjoying? Brewing? Call this an open beer thread.
two negra modelos accompanying my chicken enchiladas w/verde sauce, thank you very much.
I had my first Belgian ale at the Court Square tavern in Charlottesville one night when I just felt like “trying something different”. It was like drinking a loaf of bread and it knocked me on my ass, at least for one bottle of ale. About halfway through the glass I happened to look at the ABV which was probably about 9% or so and explained why I was getting the buzz that usually required three bottles worth of whatever. I still drink the occasional bottle of the stuff but only with food, and it definitely can be substituted for the fries or the mashed potatoes.
Just leaving work (yes, 10:30), so you can only imagine the amount of who cares that I’m about to consume. Probably start with at New Belgium 1554 and move to a Boulevard Stout. Looks like roofing tar, tastes like charred grill. Yes….
Tim, this is SO open-ended…but there was a beer I had a ton of when I was visiting PSU a few years back…very popular with students….local beer (yeah, there’s probably a ton of ’em)…this was cheap. Trying to remember what it was called….any possiible suggestions? It was surely a PA only beer, possibly a Happy Valley brew…
I’m roasting coffee, actually. FDDD and I have very different tastes in roasts and beans, so I’m experimenting making roasts and blends she likes, roasts and blends *I* like, and first cup of the morning -blands- blends we both like.
finally found anchor steam in one of my local stores (east coast).
ah, life is good.
Dateline Houston — The 2006 St. Arnold special-batch Divine Reserve #2 came out last week — unfortunately, the 800 cases only lasted about two days on store shelves (even at a pricy $12/sixpack of 12oz bottles — unless… Brock, if you’re reading…hook a brother up), so I’ll have to be OK with the half-case I managed to find. It’s a 9.3%abv “American Abbey Quadruppel” and is a glass of creamy, malty goodness with a forever finish and the family-signature applish undertones beneath the alcohol heat. It’s a lovely drink now, but I’m cellaring six for as long as I can take it — I’m hoping I can hold out until January!
Currently drinking some brews made last October thru December. The smoky porter has aged quite nicely (in my own humble opinion, one of my better attempts), and an aggressively hopped IPA has smoothed out to something a bit more nuanced (and was a fine accompaniment to a grilled tuna loin). The pumpkin ale, on the other hand, goes down in the not-exactly-a-failure-but-don’t-try-it-again file.
There’s a Sam Adams clone in the secondary right now and I’m looking for suggestions for the next batch.