Category Archives: Belgian

Episode 114: Unibroue La Fin Du Monde – End of the world, or just end of the series?

Did you hear Jake mention he has a Tour de France podcast? Want to hear more audio gold from the co-creator of Your Next Beer, check out the Tour de France for Beginners podcast.

News

This weeks news is really less news and more of a shameless plug for a Chicago related beer event.The third annual AleFest Chicag will be held on Saturday. More than 150 craft brews from some 50 domestic and foreign breweries will be poured at Soldier Field’s Stadium Green which is the grassy plaza outside the lake side of the stadium. Represented will be such Chicago-area breweries and brewpubs as Flossmoor Station, Goose Island, Metropolitan, Piece, Three Floyds and Two Brothers. Attendees will be able to taste brews and quiz brewers or brewery reps about how their favorite beers are made.

Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

  • This weeks beer, La Fin Du Monde, weighs in at 9.0% abv and is classified as a Belgian Trippel.
  • For those of you who don’t remember, we did talk about trippels in our Belgian series. However, as a brief refresher:
  • The name “Tripel” actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist “Simple.”
  • Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, the head should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along complex, spicy phenolic, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish.
  • Sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. Bitterness is up there for a beer with such a light body for its strength, but at times is barely perceived amongst the even balance of malts and hops. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added as well.
  • La Fin Du Monde roughly translates to the end of the world, and was brewed to honor the great explorers, who believed they had reached the end of the world when they discovered America.
  • First brewed in February of 1994 after 18 months of research, the website describes it as having champagne-like effervescence, it has a vigorous presence in the mouth, which accentuates its strong personality. Slightly tart, with the balanced flavors of wild spices, malt and hops, it belongs to the class of great Trappist beers and, in this regard, is a North American first. At meals, it can replace white or red wines and enhances the flavor of most dishes.

Next Week

Well that’s all for the Unibroue beers. Next week I think we are going to start another series based on a brewery, but I am not sure which one yet, so tune in a find out.

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Episode 100: Gulden Draak – Is 100 the Golden Anniversary?

In honor of our 100th show we start a listener request series with Gulden Draak.

News

I know that YNB tends to stay away from politics with the occasional commentary, however I think I actually found a story that blends beer and policitcs quite nicely. The Aurora Womens Republican party talked to brewmaster Mike Rybinski of Walter Paytons Roundhose and pared down a list of 26 potential beer characteristics to the most important three. Using these three characteristics, Rybinski’s job will brew a “Republican Ale” come September as part of a party fundraiser. Two lucky Republicans will even get to help brew the beer if their raffle ticket is pulled

Gulden Draak

  • Gulden Draak comes from Belgium and the Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V..
  • The brewery is located in Ertvelde, East Flanders. This is the last brewery located in East Flanders.
  • Gulden Draak, or if Golden Dragon if I am guessing the label correctly, weighs in at 10.5% ABV and is classified as a Triple.
  • The Golden Dragon is actually a replica of a golden dragon on the top of the Belfry of Ghent and is said to be the protector of the treasures of the city. It has been there since 1382, and before that it was stolen back and forth between Ghent and Brugge.
  • This beer pours a dark brown. You can sort of see through it but it rather hazy, which means it is probably unfiltered.
  • The smell has a hint of alcohol but mostly smells of fresh fruits.
  • Tastes sweet, very malt forward a very little bit of bitterness, maybe more from alcohol than hops.
  • Very complex so much so that it left Jim speechless.

Next Week

Well we start the journey to 200 next week with another listener suggested beer, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock. We also still need a couple more suggestions, so send in those ideas.

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Episode 59: Victory V-12 – Like a finely tuned sports car

Episode 59: Victory V-12 – Like a finely tuned sports car

We are about twelve hours late on this one, which happens to be a number in our beer this week, Victory V-12. This is the last of our belgians, so if you are ready to be done with them, we are too.

News

Well here is something new and different, how to share a beer with mans best friend. A company in Australia decided to brew a beer that would be safe for dogs to drink, in other words non-alcoholic and without hops. The beer has a beef flavor and a beer smell and is apparently quite popular with the creators dogs. Jim will try to get a hold of some of this beer whenever it comes over…and when he gets a dog.

Victory V-12

  • For those of you who may have just tuned in for the first time, Victory is based in Downingtown, PA and puts out many great beers, including Golden Monkey, Hop Devil, and Prima Pils, all beers that we have talked about of this show in the past
  • One of the things about Belgian beers in the US is that there are only a few really good companies that make them, including Victory. If you have enjoyed this series of beers, you may want to give Ommegang Brewery, New Belgium Brewery, and Weyerbacher Brewing Company.
  • Victory’s Website describes this beer as heady with a aromatic fruity start and taste, this amber ale features hints of pear and apricot in its well-nuanced flavor.
  • The beer weighs in at 12% ABV and is the strongest beer that we have talked about in the Belgian series.
  • This one pours a deep copper with a nice size head at first but that quickly disappears.
  • This beer has a sweet smell to it, think of a malty sweet though, with a hint of some citrus and fruityness there as well.
  • The taste is a rich malty sweetness that is balanced not as much by hops but by the yeast in this one. Of course you can tell the alcohol is there as well, but it is hidden rather well

Next Week

We are going to have a quick break in the action with a pallete cleanser show of sort, so tune in a find out what we will be talking about.

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Episode 58: St. Bernardus Abt 12 – This beer is no dog

We get back into the belgian series with St Bernadus Abt 12. Pay no attention to the fact that I call it Episode 57 in the open, we got screwed up because of the brewing show.

News

Well the news this week is more an alert to a new market trend in the craft brewing industry, cans. For a long time, there has been a stigma against cans in the craft brewing industry, many people just viewed them as a way to serve the masses with bad beer. Part of that may be due to the fact that usually that was all that was in cans; bad beer. The trend may be changing in the market however with several craft brewers adapting new cans, including New Belgium Brewing Company, 21st Amendment Brewing Company, and one that has been canning for a while, Oskars Blues Brewing Company.

St. Bernardus Abt 12

  • A quadruple, or quad for short, is the strongest of the beers styles that we have covered.
  • These beers are usually very malty and rather complex. It is best to think of this as a kind of wine, although don’t necessarily expect those types of flavors.
  • The style itself is more of an “inspired by Belgian” kind of thing as opposed to a traditional Belgian kind of thing.
  • Tonights beer, Bernardus Abt 12 comes from the St. Bernardus Brewery located in the village of Watou in West Flanders, Belgian.
  • Tonights beer, the Abt 12, weighs in a 10.5% and carries it weight rather well.
  • This beer pours like it has a ton of great darker ruby malt, with a nice of white head that actually stuck around for a few minutes on mine at least.
  • The smell is all over the board with this one, coco, anise, dark cherries, a very complex smell to say the least.
  • The taste seems just as busy and complex as the smell, although not overwhelming. This is a balanced beer on the surface that gets deeper with all sorts of flavors.
  • A quick word about the alcohol on this one, it is there, but not nearly as recognizable as past weeks. Just be aware however, it will jump up and bite you!

Next Week

Well next week we come to the end of our Belgian Block. I refuse to call it a series any more because it is just been so damn long! We will be doing one more Victory beer, V-Twelve, and then we will be DONE with them. So tune in and enjoy!

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Episode 56: Golden Monkey – As opposed to the evil monkey in my closet

In the excitement of recording another YNB, I forgot to turn on my nice microphone, so not so great audio quality from me, sorry. This week Victory Golden Monkey is on tap as we continue to talk about the Belgians.

News

Have you ever heard of a Magic Pyramid? Well, you soon may, and not the ones in Egypt. Last week, Magic Hat Brewing Company and Pyramid Brewing Company, two moderately sized craft brewers merged to become one decent size craft brewery. Pyramid is based on the west coast while Magic Hat is based on the East coast, so there could be some interesting hybrid brews that come out of this deal. Who knows, just keep it tuned here and we will let you know when we know.

Victory Golden Monkey

  • Much like last weeks beer, this week we are going to be talking about another Tripel. However, unlike last weeks beer, this weeks is made here in the States, in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia.
  • Victory was opened in 1996 by Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski in an old Pepperidge Farm factory.
  • One reason that we keep talking about Victory, besides the fact that they are from PA and we are from PA is that we can keep talking about them. In other words they have a lot of good beers! And they are always coming out with more!
  • his weeks beer is one of my favorites from Victory, Golden Monkey. Classified as a Tripel and weighing in at 9.5% ABV, this is a beer that should not be taken lightly.
  • Although you can get this in 12 ounce bottles, the most common bottle I have found it in has been the 750 ml bottle.
  • The beer pours amberish and golden with a rather small white head, so some of the same things that we saw last week with the Chimay.
  • The smell is going to be a little frutiy and yeasty, maybe able to sense a little citrus in there from the hops as well.
  • The taste however is going to start off sweet, and this comes mainly from the malt and yeast, however you can also taste a little of the alcohol in this one as well.

Next Week

We’re not 100 percent sure. We may be doing a show about brewing or we may continue our Belgian series with either St. Bernardus Abt 12 or Victory Twelve. So next Monday it will be a surprise, but I’m sure it will be great – tune in and enjoy.

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Episode 55: Chimay Tripel – Three times the beer.

We continue our Beligian series with Chimay Triple. This is the one

News

Today’s news story actually comes from a big name news paper, which for us is kind of shocking, the Wall Street Journal. They reported today about a blog called Brew Blog, which is funded by Miller Brewing Company as sort of an indirect way to beat Anheuser Busch to the punch on some advertising issues. As I read this article, I couldn’t help but think that AB may be being a little hypocritical here, being that they sponsor a news site as well that tends to only speak good of them.

Chimay Tripel (White Label)

  • The name “Tripel” actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist “Simple.”
  • A tripel is generally defined as having a bright yellow to gold in color, and appear generally rather tame but can back a strong alcoholic punch, ranging from 7.5 to 9.5% abv, which for a beer is getting in the strong range.
  • It is also not uncommon to at least taste some spices in these beers in addition to some fruity taste, which you will get at least a little of this week.
  • Speaking of this week, we are headed back to the Scourmont Abbey where Chimay Ales are brewed and tasting Chimay Tripel, or Chimay White as it is commonly called.
  • The beer it self weighs in at 8.0% ABV and pours a nice dark gold with a huge white head that stayed around for a while and didn’t just dissipate.
  • The smell was of granny smith apples, or at least that what I was smelling, and a little bit of alcohol, but not a lot.
  • The taste to me was not nearly as complex as some of the previous weeks. I found some sweetness in it, but there was some alcohol/hop bitterness there as well to balance it out. There was some alcohol warming on the end as well.
  • All in all, not a bad beer, but I think there are better tripels out there and if you are going to have a beer that is 8% ABV, get one that has a little more complexity to it in the flavor.

Next Week

Next week we will be continuing with the Tripels and heading back to the States to take a look at Victory’s Golden Monkey.

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Episode 54: Ommegang Abbey Ale – A Hall of Fame Beer!

We’re back to our regular show format this week, some will cheer some will boo. This week we look at our domestic Dubble, Ommegang Abbey Ale

News

Every week we seem to have another story about idiot robbers and beer. These weeks story comes from Thurston County in Washington State. Burglars broke into a quick stop type store and stole two cases of Keystone Beer, worth about $20. Later the same night, the same burglars broke into another store and stole a 12 pack of Miller light and two 24 packs of Milwaukee’s Best. They took the beer, bad beer at that, and left the money.

Ommegang Abbey Ale

  • This week we head back to Cooperstown New York and the little white farmhouse known as Ommegang Brewing Company.
  • Ommegang, built by Don Fienberg, began brewing in 1997. Mr. Fienberg loved Belgian beers, much like myself, and decided that he wanted to brew his own.
  • Ommegang is a rather widely distributed product, available in 45 states and even is exported to some foreign countries.
  • These beers are also built to be cellared. Belgian beers are great cellared, especially if they are bottle conditioned.
  • The Abbey Ale, which weighs in at around 8.5% ABV, a little on the high side for a Dubbel, but remember this is an American Belgian beer, so it may be a little bit higher.
  • This beer pours dark walnut with a size able head that tended to dissipate rather quickly for me.
  • The smell is of alcohol at first with a bit of malt but no real hops to speak of.
  • The taste is slightly sour and vinous and alcoholic at first, but then the grains open up. Then of bread, but not wonder bread, like a darker rye bread, bakery fresh.

Next Week

Next week we will be stepping up the Belgian ladder and heading to Tripel town with the Chimay Triple. This is the Chimay with the white label.

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