By William Brand
Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 1:29 pm in Uncategorized.
My plan was to pull out a bottle of 2006 Barleywine from Schooner’s in Antioch, CA. But while plowing through my beer fridge, I found a bottle of Stone Cali-Belgique and a bottle of Ename Tripel Belgian Ale, so I abandoned my vision of rich and sweet and grabbed them.
The Stone Cali-Belgigique IPA paired nicely with our brined turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, brown ale-laced stuffing and a sweet-sour cranberry dish my wife’s family has been making for a couple of generations.
It’s 6.9 percent, 77 IBUs; the malt grist and hopping is fairly identical to Stone’s IPA. Hops, according to Stone, are Magnum and Centennials and it was dry-hopped with piney, citrusy Chinooks.
But it was fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, so the beer is utterly different. It’s a pale golden color and drinking it along with the turkey and cranberries, it seemed to have a tiny bit of sweetness and a quite tart finish. A lovely beer indeed and it worked well for Thanksgiving.
Our daughter’s friend, Dave, was unimpressed, so I cracked open the Ename Tripel, a strong, 8.5 percent abbey ale from the Roman brewery in Mater, East Flanders, Belgium. It’s a family-owned brewery that traces ownership back 14 generations to 1545.
The beer’s an unfiltered, pale golden color with a spicy nose. Taste, following the Cali-Beligique, was somewhat sweet, a typically very drinkable abbey ale. It paired just
about perfectly with Thanksgiving.
I know; I know. I should have gone all-American with the beer. I had good intentions
including the barleywine and Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head… But those Belgian and Belgianesque beers are so enticing…
So what did anyone else drink with Thanksgiving? Comments welcome. Let’s talk.