Ultimately, as many have suggested, you must choose what you like, as long as it matches reasonably well with the meal.
At the same time, you have to work with what’s on hand. Part of the problem with the well-meaning advice-givers is that beer is so regional that 80% of what’s recommended to me is outside my reach. Whether it’s Bell’s from the Midwest or Lost Abbey from the West Coast, or any one of many places in between, there are many well-known and highly respected holiday-appropriate beers that simply are not available in Connecticut. Read the rest of this entry…
At work on Friday I had a conversation with a beer lover, and we got to talking about Chimay.
As a result, I was really eager for a Chimay Blue. Or was it a Red? Anyway, I wanted a Chimay Dubbel – brown, raisiny, deep, rich Chimay. I wanted to find a cold 750 at the beer shop so I could go home and crack it right away.
It was not to be. No cold ones at the store. So I ended up with an Ommegang Abbey. Half the price of the Chimay, and probably approximately the same thing. Especially compared to the IPA and Wheat I have on tap at home.
Now tonight the Ommegang is ready to drink. And I am not disappointed. In my Chimay glass, it is Dubbel enough for me right now. I might have to plan one of these on the brewing roster soon.
I am going to head across the ocean to Belgium for this week’s style profile article. The brewers of Belgium are renowned for their deeply flavorful and complex beers. The Dubbel is among the most robust of the Belgian styles. Many Belgian brewers, particularly the Abbey brewers, have three main lines of beers: Enkel, Dubbel, and Tripel. They ascend in alcohol strength, but each has their own character. For example, the Tripel has a lighter color than the Dubbel. But the Tripel can be for another day. Today is about the Dubbel.
Many would pair wine with thanksgiving – I pair beer. Some say that this whole “beer pairing” thing is getting to be overdone. I say it is just getting started. Steve Koch from Stone brewing proved it earlier in the year when he defeated the sommeliers in a “pair-off”. It reminds me of Steven Colbert in the “guitar shred-off” he had with some guy from some band I never heard of before or since (it was actually the Decemberists – no offense to their fans).