Catching up to their competitor, the supermarket chain, Giant, has begun offering beer. It’s only one location so far and it is a threat to my pocketbook since that one location is the store that we go to for our weekly shopping. It’ll definitely take some self-control to not buy a mixed six pack or a few “Victorian” pints (a couple ounces over 16) for sampling.
But, to make sure we know what they have, my husband picked up some beers to commemorate the occasion. All of them were good, but three were notable. All would be great as an after dinner liquid dessert.
Green Flash Barleywine Style Ale – Many barleywines are really really sweet and often very high in alcohol, two things that don’t often play well together. The ale side of this concoction tones both down with a good citrusy hop flavor. It supposedly can be aged, but I don’t see the point of waiting 😉
Samuel Smith Organic Cherry Ale – My first encounter with fruit beer was Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat. It struck me as the Boone’s Farm of beer. Smith’s cherry ale is far better, with the cherry juice marrying well with the malt flavor. Both my husband and I found it to be strangely reminiscent of a cherry Tootsie Pop. It’s sweeter than a kriek, but the two ales are definitely cousins.
Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter – This is another organic beer. That makes absolutely no difference to me, organic, GMO, or whatever. You will die of something guaranteed, so at least make sure it tastes good. I don’t particularly like brews made with coffee. However, my husband pretty much would take coffee intravenously. This porter is one of the best I’ve tasted. Many coffee porters also seem to have vanilla added and that overwhelms everything. Sometimes that’s not a bad thing. I *love* vanilla, but I don’t want to always feel like I’m nipping from a little extract bottle. Alta Gracia tastes like a good iced black coffee, with not nearly the sweetness of many porters. A float of irish cream could be good on top. ;D
We also recently went back to Café Bruges in Carlisle for our anniversary. Frites and Belgian beer, that’s how a wedding anniversary should be spent! Great restaurant, a little noisy, coming from it being a relatively small room and having a fancy tin ceiling. My husband always gets the Monk’s Café Sour Flemish Ale, a tart almost fruity ale brewed in Belgium for a Belgian restaurant in Philly. Very nice ale, with a clean finish.
Looking for something new, I tried the Rochefort 8, a Trappist brew. This is one of those ales that underline that many do not need to be, or should be, served at refrigerator temps. As it warmed, the flavors opened up and by the end of the glass, it was where it should have been, with notes of toffee, chocolate, flavors as rich and dark as the color.
I do have to thank Merchants Du Vin, for being the importer for many of my favorite ales… 🙂