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Monday, April 30, 2012

A recipe for beer excellence!

It’s the last day of April and so it is time to wrap up Belgian beer month. This didn’t quite go how I expected it since I didn’t do the best of jobs this month keeping this thing running on a recurring basis. I won’t even begin to address what happened last week.

This could be the start of the best beer party ever.
(Original here)
Weekly beer links are taking a week off; instead I’m going to write a bit more about the “why” of Belgians beers. Brian talked a bit about the Trappist and monastery influence on brewing and that has had a lasting presence and impact on how Belgian beers are viewed, consumed and copied.

That is only half the story though. Frankly Charlie Papazian has said it best in his Joy of Homebrewing, “Belgium is the Disneyland of beer.” If you look on the shelves of your favorite beer store you’ll find that you can’t really argue with that. Not only is there a wide variety of different Belgian beers but there is a depth and nuance that didn’t exist in other parts of the world with few exceptions.

This is because, simply put, Belgian beers are the result of taking staunchly independent regions and cities, fertile land for grains, easy access to good water, well traveled trade routes, major ports, fiercely competitive brewers who cling to tradition and then you throwing them all in an area of less than 12,000 square miles. Add into stew the lack of any “purity laws” and you have a recipe that yields wildness and excellence in equal measures. This is a place that produces over 1100 different types of beer in a country roughly the size of Maryland. Beer is in the blood and has been for many centuries. 

The best part of all this though is that Belgian beers have been incredibly well received by the drinking public and have inspired American brewers to brew their own versions with all the idiosyncrasies found in native beers to the point where America is slowly emerging as a brewing country with as much nuance, creativity, and independence in its beers.

In the end your best bet is to go to Belgium and try them for yourself, but since that is not overly realistic for many folks then I would encourage you to go out find Belgian beers and take a chance on them if you haven't already. You won't be disappointed. Beware though, some of them can be incredibly complex, challenging, but ultimately very rewarding. 

In Site News!

The big news is that we are going to pull back a bit on content production and move to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday publication schedule. As mentioned previously life has a funny way of changing priorities so until a few things work themselves out I will have less time to focus on the blog. What I can say is that hopefully the content is produced on those days has a bit more substance to it and commentary is a bit sharper and not so rushed. It will be similar with the podcast too, less but better.

As always we appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Any thoughts, ideas, or recommendations are always welcome. 

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