I hope the holidays have been treating you well and you have been surrounded with laughs and love. I’m also hoping you have not over-eaten this Thanksgiving and you have plenty of room in your bellies for new beers! Since we have been experiencing colder weather here in the Bay Area, I decided to switch up the flavor profile and shy away from hoppier beers for this selection. I’ve included two world-class, but seemingly under-appreciated Belgian beers that have been around for a little while. In a time where IPA’s have oversaturated the market, it was hard to find Belgian beers that were unfamiliar to you all (and actually good). Luckily I came across these two beers that are sure to make you reconsider why you don’t drink more Belgian beers!
Brendon Pineda, Beer AficionadoBrouwerij Het Anker Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van de Keizer
If you are searching for the wonderful dark ales of Belgium – apart from the Trappist beers – your path should lead you to the cozy town of Mechelen. Here you will find the Het Anker brewery. Every year they make a special brew dedicated to Charles (Karel) Quint (1500-58), German-Roman Emperor. That beer is the Cuvée van de Keizer.
Aromas and flavors of roasted malts, caramel and plums. Soft and fruity mouthfeel that’s not too rich nor decadent. Perfect for the holidays or for aging.
Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel, launched in 2010, is an intense beer, dark in color and full in taste.
The aroma lends itself to being elegant, spicy and roasty. The malt in the mash-bill creates complex notes of darker fruit, coriander and roasted chestnuts. The finish is pleasantly rich.
The refermentation in the bottle creates a living beer that will evolve over the years. Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel finds an excellent partner in chocolate when it comes to food pairing.