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Charlotte Beer Babes September Beer School

Hello Beer Fiends!

We had another monthly beer education class at World Of Beer Southend with the Charlotte Beer Babes. Due to Charlotte’s DNC event, this event was on the 3rd Saturday of the month, not the normal 2nd Saturday, and was still a pretty darned great time!

belgian beer class world of beer southend charlotte beer babes

Beer Babes Learning!

Preston led us Beer Babes through a wonderfully detailed, yet concise, history of Belgian Beers.

belgian beer class world of beer southend charlotte beer babes

Beer Teacher

Among the fun facts we learned were:
– Belgian beers originated around the early Crusades, and started when the Catholic Church requisitioned beer from the Abbeys for safer drinking
– Original Belgian Beers had very low alcohol contents since were used primarily in place of the unsafe drinking water
– In order to be a Trappist brewery, you have to be funded by the church, all proceeds have to go back to the church (basically making it a non-profit), and has to be brewed solely by the Monks.

The 7 Belgian Trappist Breweries in existence today are:
– Chimay
– Roquefort
– Orval
– Westmalle
– Westvleteran
– Achel
– LaTrappe

Now, onto the actual beers that we taste-tested…. dun dun dun!

First up, we had Witterkerke Blik (aka White Church) from Brouwerij Bavik, a 5% ABV White Belgian beer that had an incredibly light taste to it. This belgian white wheat beer has flavors of citrus and wheat throughout, and is incredibly light in flavor, aroma and weight (when drinking). As a Belgian White, it’s a good one to try to get into the style for those coming from the lighter side of beer drinking (Miller/Bud or even Mikes) into more craft beers, as it is not super strong. This would be a good sipper if you’re just wanting something really light on a hot day.

charlotte beer babes world of beer belgian beer tasting

A Blogger (okay, me) and THE Beer Babe enjoying a White Church!

Second, we have the Delirium Tremens by Brouwerij Huyghe’s – aka the Pink Elephant. This beer jumps us up to 8.5% ABV, and ups the ante on taste and flavor considerably. This malty and spicy beer has a heartier flavor and aroma, while still not going into the realm of “dark beers” with extra heaviness added into it. The fruity flavors are very subtle when drinking this beer, but if you’re paying attention you’ll find them. Alongside the peppery malted spice note, of course! I think “Pink Elephant” alone as a nickname means that everyone should have to try this beer at least once. But that’s just me and my memories of Dumbo and Fantasia talking, I’m sure!

Third to bat is the favorite of mine for the day: Saint Bernardus’s Pater 6. Don’t let the design and name fool you – this is not a Trappist Brewery, but a for-profit brewery. This beer was like malted carmel and dark brown sugar explosion, with almost a dark cherry or currant undertone. It was my favorite in part for the smoothness of the drink, but also because it’s a rich, dark beer. Even though it’s a 6.75% ABV beer, you don’t feel that in each sip, which is nice.

belgian beer class world of beer southend charlotte beer babes pater 6

Pater 6!

At this point in the tasting, we did a quick poll to see who liked which beer best. Halfway title went to Pater 6, though the Delirium Tremens came in a close second. A few did like the Blik, but most of us liked the other two better. 😉

Back to the beer tasting… Choice Number Four: Chimay Triple, aka “Cinq Cents”, which was the only Trappist beer that we tried. This 8% ABV beer was delicious, a little hoppy, a lot carmelly with a hint of apples, and very smooth up until the end where you get a little spice and bitterness in the aftertate, which isn’t unpleasant at all. This beer is a bit heavier, but the flavors are enough that you don’t have to have multiples to enjoy all the flavors fully. This was probably my second favorite of the day, tied with the last beer. I do love my hearty beers, after all!

Last beer to bat was the Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / De Halve Maan’s Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel, which was a great end to the day’s tasting. This super dark, malty, dark carmelized brown sugar, and dark candied berry flavors were delicious and went very well as an ending to a Belgian Beer Tasting. This beer also has an 11% ABV rating, and it’s not up front in the flavor at all. This is more of a sipper beer for me, something to go with a stew or hearty dessert, and doesn’t detract in flavor with time when sipping. That, for me, is key. I recommend this beer for hearty and dark beer lovers. I also think it’s a good one for non-dark beer lovers to try because it is very smooth and not bitter.

Tomorrow, I will post about what I made to go with the Beer for the tasting: scratch-made Belgian Chocolate Truffles! So come back and see me! Let me know if you’ve had any of these beers before, and what your thoughts are about them! Or if you’re a fellow beer babe, let me know what you thought of the event!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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