Drink (42)

What's Red, Flemish, and Sour?

This spring, we've taken a virtual trip to Belgium. It's been a terrific journey featuring unusual adjuncts (like coriander!), brain-blistering levels of alcohol, and startling realizations. For example, who knew tripel was so light, and so easy to drink? I'm wrapping up our springtime Belgian ramble by sampling an unusual style called Flanders Red Ale. This uncommon style of beer features modest alcohol content (5-6 percent), strong sourness, and pronounced fruit character. This unique blend…

Belgian Whites: The Most Drinkable Beer Ever?

This season, we're taking a tour of Belgian beers. Last week, we sipped several Belgian stouts, so it's only natural that we explore the lighter side of Belgian beers: white or “Wit” beers. These lighter beers, which go by a variety of names, have a few characteristics in common. Most of them are brewed with a higher percentage of wheat malt, and many feature adjuncts like coriander, citrus peels and other spices. Not surprisingly, these…

Taking a darker turn with Belgian stouts

We've spent the last few weeks sampling Belgian Abbey Ales, a family of beers traditionally brewed by Trappist monasteries. We've sipped single, dubbel, tripel and quadrupel. Yum! Now our exploration of Belgian styles is taking a darker turn: to stout! The stout most of us are familiar with is an Irish dry stout — like Guinness. Belgian stouts couldn't be more different! They typically have almost double the alcohol content (7-8% rather than 3-4%), smaller…

This Summer, Explore Portland's Craft Beer Scene

Please note, this article is sponsored content from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.   It’s festival season in Portland.  Each summer the weekends are jam-packed with fests of every sort, celebrating our rich food heritage, tall ships on the waterfront, the local art scene and everything that makes Portland unique.  Set against a backdrop of 19th century architecture, landmarks and seaside charm, these festivals add even more flavor to the quintessential Maine experience for visitors and residents…

Quadrupel it!

This season, we're sipping beers of Belgian origin. We've slurped singels, drunk dubbels, and tanked tripels. We're moving on to the logical conclusion of this advancing series, loyal reader: drinking 200 proof grain alcohol from an enormous bucket! I jest. We'll actually be trying the strongest of the so-called “Abbey Ales.” These beers are known as a quadrupels, or quads, if you're a serious beer geek that would rather use your oxygen for alcohol metabolism,…

Belgian Tripels: Part Deux

This Spring, we're tasting styles of beers from Belgium. Last week, we sipped some tripels straight from Belgium. The dry, refreshing character of these beers, the ambitious alcohol content (often 9% or more), and the surprisingly light body all conspire to make tripel a tremendous style for cold, wet weather. To really enjoy a tripel, you need to embrace one of the more fussy aspects of Belgian beer: specific glassware. Many Belgian brewers recommend a…

Don't be intimidated by these Belgian Tripels

This spring, we're sipping Belgian styles of beer. We've started with traditional Trappist Ales (singels, dubbels) and now we're on to tripels. Last week's tripel tasting got me thinking. “Seth,” I thought (I often address myself in this manner), “these tripels are heavy duty beers! They are 9 percent alcohol. But, oddly they are light, dry and super drinkable. What gives?” Upon further reflection, I realized that many wines (like Vinho Verde, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer)…

Tripel From America

This Spring, we've been sampling beers from Belgium. We've tasted our ways through table beers (a/k/a singles), and dubbels, and this week, we're launching into an exploration of tripels. It's worth pausing to consider the differences between these styles before we start drinking. The singles we tried were spicy and mild, mostly around 5% ABV. The dubbels were darker, richer and stronger – many with ABV's exceeding 7%. Tripels are the pinnacle of this particular…

Drinking from the Source: Belgian Dubbel

This month, we're taking a spring trip to Belgium, and savoring styles of beer from this small country with a remarkably diverse beer culture. This week, we'll sip some dubbels from Belgium. Dubbel is typically a darker, heartier style, with moderate ABV (6-8%). Dubbels typically feature sweeter flavors that arise from the dark candi sugar used to make them – and relatively small quantities of hops. Dubbel pairs well with rich, hearty meals – beef…

Dipping into Dubbel

Welcome to Belgium, loyal reader! We're spending the spring tasting beers from this small country. Last week, we tasted Belgian “table beers”; this, we're moving onto dubbels. This style (like many of the others we'll taste over the next several weeks) has its roots in the traditional brewing culture of the Trappist, a Christian monastic order that originated in La Trappe, France.   Dubbel has an oddly specific origin — it can be traced back…
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