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Archive for the ‘Belgian beer’ tag

2015 Belgian Beer Fest at Max’s Taphouse – by a Friend of BLC

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Beer at 2015 Max's Taphouse Belgian Beer Fest

This Valentine’s Day weekend Belgian Beer aficionados descended on Max’s Taphouse in Baltimore for their annual Belgian Beer fest. This is the 11th year for the event and my wife and I decided to make the pilgrimage for an afternoon of some serious Belgian selections. In addition, it was the 5th year anniversary of Stillwater Brewery, so there was a healthy selection of some of their offerings for the all saison lovers out there. When we arrived at 10:30 am there was already a line down the sidewalk in anticipation of the 11:00 o’clock opening. Since it felt like arctic temperatures outside we were very thankful that the good people at Max’s had the foresight to set up heaters along the side walk–apparently a line prior to opening is something they’re used to. While on line we met people from Chicago, Italy, the Bronx, and San Francisco, a telling sign of the draw this event has.

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Cuvaison 2014 by Greenport Harbor Brewing Company: Brewed Using Grapes From Jamesport Vineyards

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GHBC Account Manager Justin Wesnofske and Co-owner John Liegey

Loosely translating as a sense of place, terroir refers to the effect a region has had on the production of agricultural products. In the past such a thing was not possible in beer since brewery consolidation and expansion as well as environmental factors (like downy mildew) caused the closure of many malt and hop producers across the country. In fact, most malt used to brew some of your favorite beer is not made from grain grown in the United States. In recent years however there has been a shift, as in many things culinary, toward local ingredients. Large scale craft breweries like Rogue Ales in Oregon and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in California cultivate their own hops and malt from which they craft beers expressing a sense of place. On a smaller scale, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company has taken the steps toward bringing terroir to the North Fork of Long Island.

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Written by A+K

December 5th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

668 Neighbor of the Beast (craft can) – New England Brewing Co.

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BLC Says:
668 Neighbor of the Beast is a Belgian Golden Strong Ale by New England Brewing Co. of Woodbridge, Connecticut. As the second brewery on East Coast to can their beers, they know a thing or two about the format. In fact, most of their year round line is only offered in cans or on tap. Though New England Brewing is not currently distributed on Long Island, Kevin’s brother was nice enough to bring us a plethora of their cans when he came home from college. NEB’s beer is readily available throughout the Nutmeg State, so if you find yourself driving through or taking the ferry over, stop in a package store and grab some of their brews.

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Written by A+K

June 11th, 2014 at 8:00 am

Chimay Blue Grand Reserve – Bières de Chimay S. A. (2011)

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20140331-104341.jpgBLC Says:
As we mentioned in our Chimay Grand Classique Cheese post, this bottle from 2011 was a gift from our friend Matt Bollerman. We hung onto it for awhile until we came across said cheese to pair it with. We took some time to try this ripened bottle of Grand Reserve (or Blue as it is more commonly known) on it’s own before we began our pairing. Here are our thoughts on the famous, Chimay Blue (thanks Matt).

Blue pours a rich, deep ruby color with garnet and rust highlights. A very thick, creamy head that is a light sand color forms above the brew. Though the head does eventually fall, leaving behind a copious amount of pillowy doily-like lacing, the cap that remains is still fairly prominent as you can see from the photograph. The carbonation is slow moving, with lots of tiny bubbles present throughout the body. Aroma-wise, sweet malty fruits that border on being candly-like are front and center, with a bit of alcohol, raisin and earthiness in the background. Hints of Belgian yeast come through as well. The taste closely follows the scent, as the base of this beer is a malt heavy body with sweet, rich accents. Raisin and dark fruit flavors are present throughout with a slight earthy bitterness emerging at the end of the sip to provide a bit of balance. There is a touch of gentle warming alcohol, but for a 9% ABV beer it is definitely on the subtle side. A full, smooth mouthfeel makes this beer feel robust without being too sweet or cloying.

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Written by A+K

May 5th, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Chimay Grand Classique Cheese + Chimay Grand Reserve 2011

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chimay cheeseThanks to our friend Matt Bollerman and a trip to the cheese counter at Whole Foods, we recently found ourselves in possession of both a bottle of Chimay Grand Reserve from 2011 and a portion of Chimay Grand Classique Cheese, hopefully not with quite as much age on it. We had been saving the bottle for a special occasion, and once the cheese found it’s way into our shopping cart we knew this pairing was what we were waiting for. It did however lead us to ponder the fact that it seems like many cheeses are now made with beer, but we have yet to see a beer made with cheese. Do you think we may be onto something, Long Island breweries? Yeah, probably not, but if we see any gorgonzola IPAs floating around this summer we want some credit.

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Written by A+K

March 31st, 2014 at 8:15 am