Beer tasting weekend
(Note – I had to edit this post after the fact cause I was rather liquored up when I first wrote it)
This afternoon I had an awesome experience tasting Belgian beers with my brother-in-laws and some of my best friends. We all headed up to Oldtown Alehouse for a crash course in what makes Belgian beers unique from your standard Budweiser. Our host Tim started with the best Belgian microbrews from the US/Canada, then proceeded to introduce beers that had been brewed by Trappist monks for centuries. We talked about how lambics were traditionally fermented in giant open troughs, and that the monks would open the roof of the brewery so that the beer could capture naturally occuring yeast and some of the flavors of nearby fruit trees. We also talked European history, covering such topics as medieval monasteries, the French Revolution, and World War 2.
Overall, the beers we tasted had some intense and unique flavor that were very different from what I’m used to the beers I normally like – mostly American style microbrews, English/Irish ales, and German beers. I really liked some of the smoother beers like Maredsous and Orval, but I’m not sure anyone at our table prticularly liked some of the most sour beers. What I would compare the experience to was going to see some European art film – you feel smugly superior that your horizons have been broadened, but the experience wasn’t particularly enjoyable.
Oldtown Alehouse also served us a delicious lunch of bruschetta, onion rings, garlic-seasoned fries, and an assortment of deli sandwiches. I think everyone was in a good mood after the initial tasting, but at the end of the official presentation there were several bottles that needed to be polished off. To quote Thomas the Tank Engine, “then there was trouble.” Sure, most of the open bottles were the sour beers nobody really wanted to drink, but hey I’ve never been one to let expensive beer go to waste. By the time we left the Alehouse, I was feeling no pain. My friends later told me that I said “well, I’m drunk guys and I don’t think Kate will like it. But she’s going to have to deal.”
When I got home, Kate was trying to get Daniel to go potty. By some miracle, Daniel was actually going pee pee, even if half ended up on the floor. At that point I started laughing uncontrollably. Kate looked at me and asked what was so funny. “Don’t worry Daniel,” I said. “Sometimes Daddy goes pee pee on the floor too. Especially after too much beer.”