My First Belgian: The Session Number Ninety-One


The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic.

The topic that Elisa and I have chosen for this month’s Session is ‘My First Belgian.’

My first Belgian home brew I named Clawed. Herein lies the recipe:

2 lbs Belgian Pale malt
7 lbs 6 row
2 oz Sterling hops (boil)
1 lb candi sugar
Wyeast 1214

I do not recall any of the mash particulars. It was a five gallon batch. This was about five years ago.

It was a good beer, close to what I supposed a Belgian beer should be – orange and mysterious. There are two beers that I want to brew again – this one and a barley wine I made fifteen years ago. Maybe some day …

Clawed was well received, by me and those to whom I gave a bottle or two. I don’t think this beer was terribly Belgiany otherwise many of the beer recipients would have been terrified by it. However, it had just the right amount of citrusy spice to make it appealing. It was made during a summer, so it was refreshing, too.

The Belgian beers I’ve had possess an intangible quality that appeals to me yet is hard to convey. Certainly there’s the spice, the earthiness, the venerable moth-eaten pall of long storage; but there’s also the tastual juxtaposition of this libation. It’s a beer, but it’s not a beer. These Belgian creations are never what you expect. That sense of discovery, experimentation and surprise.

I do not think I crafted that essence. But, it was a shadowy homage to the beer legends. At some point, I shall go forth and attempt it once more.

Weekend Beer Picks

I’m suffering from a bout with melancholy this week. So what beer shall compliment that feeling?

Hey, I know, how about some beers that I probably can’t find in this town?

So, a dunkelweizen sounds good. One description of them is "brown and murky." That fits how I feel. Sam Adams has some dunkelweizen; it may be available here somewhere. Kwik Stop may have some, now that I think of it. I have also read that Desert Eagle Brewing has a dunkelweizen. If any of the brewers/owners, etc., are reading this, well, first thanks for reading; second, send me a dunkelweizen. I had some of their beers at a beer fest last year. Not bad. I’d love to try some more.

Another choice is a cream ale or a kolsch. I haven’t had any in who knows how long and it’s a beer style that is sometimes neglected, forgotten, overlooked. That fits melancholy. Hey, Four Peaks has a kolsch-style beer. Sunbru. I’ll see if I can snag a sixer of that.

[tag dunkelweizen, cream ale, murky, melancholy, Sam Adams, Desert Eagle, kolsch, Four Peaks]