Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"
Happy All Saints Day! Falling the day after Halloween, All Saints Day is an annual feast day named in honor of all the saints, known and unknown. While it isn't widely celebrated in the US, the occasion does set my mind to a familiar, smiling monk who graces a famous line of Belgian beers.
The St Bernardus Brewery, located in Watou, Belgium, is renowned for bringing secular-brewed, abbey-style ales to the world. One of their more notable varieties, the St Bernardus Tripel, is my gameday beer-o-the-week.
The name Tripel is a marketing style, used to denote the strongest beers of an abbey-style brewery's range. St Bernardus' doesn't disappoint, coming in at a hefty 8% ABV. Don't let that large number dissuade you, however, as the beer masks the high alcohol content quite well.
Fruity and spicy notes greet the nose. On the tongue, I get the familiar sweetness and ester flavors commonly associated with Belgian beer, which play off of a slight bitterness.
If you've never had a Belgian beer before, it's hard for me to describe the flavor profile exactly, but, suffice to say, it's extremely distinctive. Short of sours, Belgians are about as 'left field' as the beer world gets. For the adventurous, they're a delightful departure from the often-times formulaic world of American brewing. It's worth a try.
Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat the Bruins!