8 min

Belgian beer talk and homebrewing

(My Jul 21, 2014 comment to a ToledoTalk.com thread.)

"You can't go wrong."

I can go wrong if they don't have a Belgian-style beer available.

Currently, The Attic offers La Trappe Dubbel on tap. That's a fine Trappist beer. We enjoyed a couple of those on Saturday night, during SoundTrek. Only 10 "official" Trappists breweries exist in the world.

Last Tuesday at Mutz, we liked the Maumee Bay Brewing Company's newly-released Red Saison.

I heard that Ye Olde Cock n' Bull has a large selection of beers on tap, but I have not surveyed the place.

Thank you for this thread. I need to pay closer attention to what's happening. Look at Swig for today.

This should be a national holiday in our country.

This is happening right here at Swig on Monday, July 21 starting at 2pm... Belgian Independence Day celebration.

Chimay and Rochefort are Trappist breweries. I've enjoyed the Blue and Red labeled Chimays. I have not tried the Chimay Trippel, so hopefully Swig still has some left later this evening.

You can find bottled Rochefort at local stores like The Andersons, and both the 6 and 10 are excellent. The Rochefort 10 ABV is over 11 percent. It's a quad. Even the IPA-loving hopheads should try the Rochefort 10 at least once.

I have not tried Duvel. That's an old brewery. Framboise, not a fan of lambics. Ommegang is a New York state brewery that produces Belgian-style beers. The Bier Stube offers an Ommegang Abbey Ale (Dubbel) on tap.

At the moment, we definitely prefer Belgian style beers, although the imperial stout that we brewed back in March is aging well, and it tastes amazing. We brewed a Belgian Dubbel on Saturday. A few days ago, we opened the Belgian Trippel that we brewed last month. One evening this week, we need to bottle the Saison that we brewed on July 4. And this weekend, we'll brew a Belgian Wit, again, during a large group brewing day.

We brew one-gallon and five-gallon batches. The one-gallon batch is great for testing beers, and it can be done on the stove top, using a pasta pot and other kitchen equipment. It's easy. It takes about 3.5 hours to brew an all-grain one-gallon batch. An extract one-gallon batch takes a little over two hours. Most of the time is spent waiting around. Well, it's not wasted time since we're drinking beer and eating. Brewing beer, post-boil, requires a lot of attention to sanitizing.

Five-gallon batch brewing requires more and bigger equipment, so the initial cost is higher. I enjoy one-gallon batch brewing, and we like using the info from the two books produced by the Brooklyn Brew Shop.

Titgemeiers can get you hooked up on equipment and ingredients. And it's fun to visit homebrewing supply stores, such as Home Brew Ohio in Sandusky and the large store called Adventures in Homebrewing, located in Ann Arbor.

It was my wife's idea early this year to try homebrewing. I was reluctant because for some reason, I thought homebrewing beer was a complicated and difficult task. But after watching other homebrewers make wort, and after I tasted several home brews, I was interested.

If you are used to cooking or canning, then homebrewing beer should be no problem. It's fun, and the results are surprising. For my evening beverage of choice, our homebrews have replaced red wine. Our imperial stout was an attempt to clone the Maumee Bay Brewing Company's Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout. While obviously not at the level of the MBBC's fine beer, we'll definitely brew our stout again.

And brewing beer, like making naturally-leavened sourdough bread, contains a lot of science if you are interested in that kind of thing. You don't have to know the science. You can simply follow a recipe and be fine.

Comments by a user

Good info here:

Spring and Summer are always greatly overrun with IPA's and anything hopped up. You can have a beer with over 100 IBU and not be bitter (Sixpoint Hi-Res comes to mind). It's all about balancing the malt and hops.

I've only been into craft for about 2 years, and the beers that brought me into craft were Belgians. Stouts and Belgians are my favorite by far, but I appreciate roughly any style from flanders red to sour to hefeweizen to whatever. I currently trade beer with folks from Cali, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maine just because I want to try as many different breweries beers that aren't available in our area.

If you ever get bored, swing by Marino's, Holloway Beverage Center, Anderon's (any), or Liquor Cabinet up in Temperance. All have great selections and a wide range of styles. Personally, Marino's has about the best consistent prices, and is my go-to shop for normal shopping.

! posted by webrioter on Jul 22, 2014 at 08:45:26 am #

Oh and for drinks, well Swig is hard to beat.

The Local on Airport has all craft on tap, and a pretty good selection at that (check them out on Facebook).

If you ever pop into the casino, go into the Final Cut bar. They recently switched up to pretty much all craft taps, and they have bottles of Belgians and other beers available as well. If you get adventurous, their barrel aged manhattan (or take on one) is pretty stellar.

! posted by webrioter on Jul 22, 2014 at 08:47:45 am #

Our night out, Jul 21, 2014

On Monday evening, CP, DD, and I visited Swig in Perrysburg and The Attic in Uptown Toledo. We tasted several Belgian beers. Three were from Trappist breweries. We arrived at Swig around 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. We got home at 11:45 p.m. Fun night.

My comments from the TT thread, posted Monday evening while at The Attic.

A fine night tonight. We visited Swig for Chimay Trippel, Rochefort 8, and the Duvel. I liked the Duvel a lot. Had the Chicao-style dog. Great weather for sitting outside. My Stepdaughter came along tonight, so we're educating her on brewskis. And now we're at The Attic for the LaTrappe Dubbel. Damn monks know what they're doing.

posted by jr on Jul 21, 2014 at 10:26:06 pm #

Belgian-style beers, the ones I like, are low in IBU. It's all about the funky Belgian yeast for me.

If it was socially acceptable, I would douse myself in Wyeast Trappist HG 3787 instead of velvet.

My Stepdaughter ordered a lambic at Swig, Frigging kids. I don't know how a lambic is a beer even if it's a Belgian.

At least she liked the LaTrappe. Small moves.

posted by jr on Jul 21, 2014 at 11:22:35 pm #

At Swig, our first order was:
DD: Chimay Trippel (tap)
CP: Framboise Lambic (tap)
me: Chimay Trippel (tap)

The lambic is on the left and the trippel, which appears darker in the photo because of the flash. We ate the fetta dip with pita for an appetizer.

I tasted the lambic, and I don't get it, but that's the great thing about the wide variety of beer styles.

The Chimay Trippel was underwhelming to me. Too bland. Not enough Belgian flavor. I like the Chimay Blue label (quad) and the Chimay Red label much better. Our trippel tastes much better than the Chimay Trippel.

Our next order:
DD: Rochefort 10 (bottle)
CP: Rochefort 10 (bottle)
me: Rochefort 8 (bottle)

The Rochefort 8 is a Belgian Dark Strong Ale. Like the Chimay Trippel, this was a new beer for me. The 8 was very good, but I tasted the 10, and the 10 is still my all-time favorite beer. I like the Rochefort 6 better than the Rochefort 8. CP was not as impressed with the 10 as DD and me.

For dessert, we ordered one Duvel that we shared, although I probably consumed most of it. This was another new beer for me, and it was my second favorite that I tried at Swig after the Rochefort 10. The Duvel is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, and it contained that good Belgian funky yeast flavor that I like. A very good beer.

Duvel Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Scrump.

I ordered the Chicago-style hot dog and fries. We stayed to answer some trivia questions.

The weather was ideal. Not humid. Comfortable temps. We sat outside on the patio. Nice transition from the low sun of the late evening to darkness.

And Swig was busy as usual, even for a Monday evening. That place seems busy, regardless of the time of day or week.

After Swig, we stopped at The Attic. This was CP's first visit to The Attic. We all ordered the LaTrappe Dubbel, which they have on tap. This is one of my favorite beers. CP liked this one.

Walking upstairs to The Attic.

LaTrappe Dubbels.

We left The Attic around 11:25 p.m. We dropped CP off at her home. DD and I arrived home at 11:45 p.m. It was so nice outside that DD and I sat out in our backyard for a little while.

Tomato, eggplant, celery, carrots, and broccoli at night.

Good family time on a fine summer July evening.

#beverage - #beer - #home - #food - #weather - #restaurant - #blog_jr

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