Belgian Beers For Spring
These slightly longer spring days beg you to make a swift move from work to play, so you can bask in those last few hours of lingering evening sunlight. Don’t miss that magic time by fooling around in the kitchen with a complicated dinner. Have something that will be ready just soon enough for you to catch that last glimmer of the sunset! Hurry home, grab a beer, slice up some cheese and head straight to the porch! The only trick to this game is having a fridge stocked with fresh, bright brews. Check out these three Belgian ales that scream spring:
Piraat, Brouwerij Van Steenbergecor, (Belgian Style Pale Strong Ale)
This beer, a Belgian Pale Strong Ale gold medal winner at the 2013 NY International Beer Competition, impresses immediately with its abundant carbonation and thick, white head delivering abundant notes of tropical fruit, lemon zest, pink peppercorn and yeasty dough. The taste is complex ranging from an almost marzipan like sweetness, to a slight sour of pineapple, completed with a dry finish of crisp green apple. Match those gorgeous flavors with this beer’s creamy mouthfeel, and you’ve got a sophisticated treat that’s a worthy therapist after a hard day.
Cheese pairing suggestion: Fourme d'Ambert
Here the pungency of a blue cheese accentuates Piraat’s bright citrus flavors while the strong carbonation of the beer highlights the pleasantness of the cheese’s buttery texture. Best friends for life!
Corsendonk Dubbel, Brouwerij Corsendonk, (Belgian Style Dubbel)
This beer pours a dark, rich mahogany topped with a lingering white foam. The nose is dominated with molasses, toasted bread and tart, dark fruit with a prickly, peppery kick. The taste is surprisingly jammy, bursting with ripe blackberries and swimming in fresh honey. With a lighter body and soft carbonation, this is an easy drinker that defies any expectation that darker ales must be big, boozy, malty monsters. This is easy company for sunny evenings on the patio.
Cheese pairing suggestion: Sartori BellaVitano Raspberry
This cheese’s rich hazelnut and brown butter notes are tinged with the tartness from a raspberry lambic wash. This pairing highlights the luscious berry flavors of the Corsendonk which finds itself imitating a juicy Côtes du Rhône.
La Fin du Monde, Unibroue (Belgian Style Trippel)
This beauty from Canada is a golden goddess boasting a forward nose of apricot, clove and freshly baked bread. Get to know the beer though, and you’ll find that she is more complex with notes of mango, pear, lemon, pepper, toffee and earthy yeast. But that’s not all: She’s got at least one more surprise to share with a finish that is dryer than expected as she shows off her grassy and floral hops. The carbonation here is luxurious with loads of tiny champagne bubbles offering a crisp, effervescent delight. This one is darn near as close as you’re going to get to spring in a glass, folks.
Cheese pairing suggestion: Sevre et Belle Bucheron
This ripe goat cheese features mild notes of lemon and earth that become more prominent with La Fin du Monde’s coaching. The cheese in turn offers its dense, almost clay-like texture as a sublime contrast to the beer’s dynamic sparkle making both treats that much more enjoyable.