#Belgian Ale Archives – PorchDrinking.com
“But, what do you drink?” This is the question I asked the bartender at one of the many estimable pubs I wandered into the first time I visited Bruges. Taking a pilgrimage to the holy land of beer to guzzle some Westvleteren long before it was shipped to American shores, I spent my days soaking in highly-touted Trappist ales and Belgian standards, but was looking for something a little more “Bad Sandy.” The Belgians, masters of brewing, had to have their version of “craft” local beers that didn’t travel outside of the land of waffles and moules frites.
Sometimes, no matter the weather or season, a brewery can score major brownie points if it offers a comforting brew that provides all-around enjoyment. Be it hiking, playing cards, attending a barbecue or perhaps sitting around a bonfire — a beer for seemingly all occasions, especially one that won’t particularly floor you after a few. One such beer is an Abbey Dubbel brewed by Flying Fish Brewing Company, located in Somerdale, New Jersey.
Cleveland-based Great Lakes Brewing Company has created a vast array of beers over the many decades the brewery has been in existence. They recently resumed brewing and distributing an old favorite, Holy Moses Belgian White Ale, year-round in 2018. Not too long after that, raspberries were added to the recipe and we had Holy Moses Raspberry White Ale filling our glasses with fresh fruit and hints of summer. Not to be outdone, Great Lakes is bottling another variation of their original Moses recipe this year. Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Midnight Moses is a dark Belgian-style ale that rounds out the collection of Moses beers for one and all to sip and enjoy.
Pappy Van Winkle commands an awe factor in American spirits like no other bourbon does. It’s produced in small batches and can be incredibly difficult — and expensive — to acquire, with special bottles carrying four to five figure price tags. When Fifth Street Brewpub in the historic St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio, announced in April that they would be releasing a single batch of their Schmidion Damme Belgian Dark Strong Ale that had been aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels, it definitely caught my attention.
Berry Belgian Waffle is a truly unique beer that pushes forward the possibilities of beer and brewing style. We can all appreciate breweries that focus on hitting style profiles to the letter. These breweries strive to make classic examples of beer – those efforts often resulting in successful campaigns at the Great American Beer Festival. Berry Belgian Waffle may not be the next GABF medal winning beer out of the booming Georgia brewing scene; What it is, instead, is a fun example of a small brewery, Red Hare Brewing Company, having fun and pushing what is acceptable and expected from American beer.
ABV: 10.5% | IBU: 30
We’re still getting into the holiday spirit; almost two weeks until the 25th arrives! Once again, I have a Belgian Ale for your enjoyment, this time from Fat Head’s Brewery brewed in the sunny Cleveland area. I’m not joking this time around; we’ve actually had a mild and somewhat sunny late fall with little snow. Hopefully that will change soon. As we wait for the wintry weather, I would advise you all to stock up on your heavy ales, and Fat Head Brewery’s Pimp My Sleigh is a perfect choice for your evenings around the Yule Log this holiday season.
ABV — 9.5%
IBU — approximately 20
It’s that time of year. Yes, Christmas is coming up, quickly, and this year the amount of early Christmas seems to have reached an even higher level! Hints of the season have already begun popping up all over the place: in department stores, specialty shops, on your friends’ Facebook feeds. Truth be told, you don’t have to go to Bronner’s in Michigan to get your taste of the holidays early anymore. Additionally, Christmas ale releases have already happened, much to many people’s delight. Even though one the biggest cult beer followings in Cleveland is the Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Company—which is awesome this year, by the way, better than the last couple of years—Platform Beer Company has released a very nice, very different style of ale for your holiday imbibing needs: Esther Belgian Christmas Ale.
I have been on a serious Belgian kick recently. Perhaps it is the winter months drawing me away from the ultra-hoppy double and imperial IPAs I usually drink, or maybe it’s my palate craving something a bit different. Incidentally, Belgians were what drew me into craft beer in the first place. Something about their very approachable yet very different flavor is what reigned me in, and well, now I’m here at PorchDrinking.
Adult kickball leagues are great. The nostalgic feel of playing kickball in my backyard with my cousins is nice, but when you add beer to that, it’s fantastic. Last Thursday, I had the privilege of substituting in a kickball league in Cincinnati and was pleasantly surprised when I was offered some unique beers by a fellow teammate. One beer I particularly enjoyed was called River Horse Belgian Freeze, brewed and sold only in New Jersey. Therefore, if you ever find yourself visiting Jersey, I highly recommend you buy some of these beers to ease yourself into the experience of some Jersey Shore-esque behavior that seemed to have taken over the state.