Big Boss Brewing Company | Hell’s Belle Belgian-style Ale
Available across NC and SC
During the hot, humid days and tepid nights of summer in the piedmont region of North Carolina, relief comes in few forms better than delicious beer and good people. Both have an irresistible intoxicating effect. One is more direct than the other, of course, but both have the power to bring smile to your face.
Recently, with the 4th of July holiday weekend, I’ve been fortunate enough to partake in both with an agreeable degree of frequency. It was a busy weekend though. Before it all started, I knew I would want some beer to help get through it all, so I went to the store and browsed a while. Eventually I settled on a Belgian-style ale called Hell’s Belle from Big Boss, a Raleigh-based brewery. In short, it’s strong (ABV 7.0%), citrusy, golden and a little spicy.
But I didn’t get to enjoy it right away as there was work to be done. Friday, Independence Day, my girlfriend asked me (very nicely I might add) if I would be willing to help her sister move. I’ll spare you the murmuring and complaining, but we did it. Half a dozen of us got it done in about an hour. Record time if you ask me. Late Friday night, I was finally able to get into the Hell’s Bell.
When I grabbed the first bottle, I noticed the fiery gaze of lovely lady on the label. It’s like a warning wrapped in an invitation. Of course, I accepted the invitation. Upon popping the top, the hiss of released pressure and the light spray of citrus fruits and spices entranced me. As I poured, it rapt my gaze with its vivid, guilded color. A crisp, alluring aroma wafted through my nostrils. And when I finally drank, it was smooth and vibrant, with just enough bite to make itself memorable. All that with the sheer amount of alcohol combined to create an excellent beverage after a hard day’s work.
Come Saturday, I found myself at a Carolina Railhawks soccer game at the behest of my younger brother and his wife. It was hot that day. I mean really hot. Two hours of direct sunlight drenched us in sweat (but it did leave us with a decent tan). Despite all that, it was refreshing to watch live soccer after being stuck watching so many World Cup matches on TV. Surprisingly, a large number of loyal fans from both sides showed up. We all shouted and chanted and heckled the refs and waved our arms like we knew better. Through it all, the Railhawks won 2 to 0 against a Mexican league team (Puebla FC). It was a great time but lacked one thing: ice cold Hell’s Belle. Such anticipation ultimately served to enhance my enjoyment of it later.
Sunday evening was spent relaxing with beer and playing Dominion with the good people who introduced me to it. They also served the consummate American desert, a delicious, warm apple pie. It was easily the most appropriate way to top off the long weekend.
Good friends and great beer. That’s what this weekend was all about.