I could drink my ENTIRE Belgian beer challenge in Toronado. Seriously. To say their Belgian beer list is impressive is an understatement. Beautiful might be the better term. And trying to figure out what to choose was like asking me what I want for dinner. I'm an indecisive lass. My first stop of the day, however was at Normal Heights' own Rosie O'Grady's. I landed there after initially venturing over to Blind Lady Ale House, and remembering at the front door that they don't open until 4. (Picture me slapping my forehead with the base of my hand.) I knew Rosie's had a Belgian bottle list, so I was determined to have SOMETHING to assuage my ignorance.
Allagash White (Witbier) 5% ABV: I really like this beer. Better in fact than yesterday's Konigshoeven Witte. A bit of farmhouse Saison-style funk and fresh yeast greet the nose, along with a citrus undercurrent. Imagine hay sitting on a stack of lemons, and there's your smell. White pepper dots the surface.
This is a great Spring/Summer beer. Refreshing, yet layered. I love that they show the pour, swirl, pour method on the side of their bottle. Educating the masses on how to drink a bottle-conditioned beer is fantastic. Well done Allagash.
Brouwerj Huyghe Delirium Tremens (Golden) 8.5% ABV: Bright golden color. Aromas of bubblegum, melon (canteloupe), lemon and lime, orange, cake flour, vanilla, and mild spice. Has a vibrant entry, with sweet, bready aspects to the palate. A classic, and many beer drinkers first and sometimes only experience with Belgian beer.
After these two, it was time for lunch. My stomach demanded it, and I knew Toronado would give me a happy tummy. Onward to North Park!
New Belgium Biere de Mars (Bière de Garde) 6.2% ABV: I can tell you with all honesty I have never had the opportunity to use the following phrase to describe a beer: fruity barnyard. It makes me giggle a little, but there it is. The aroma of this one is like ripe fruit sitting in a barn stable. I feel like I am at a county fair. The aromatic mixture of fruit stands with corralled cows and horses. The color is a lovely burnt orange/apricot. Nice and refreshing, and DEFINITELY interesting.
De Proef Reinaert Flemish Wild Ale: 9% ABV: Mmm, my favorite of the day! A sweet, citrus honey Brett literally seduces the nose. The friendly Brett, the feminine Brett, if you will. Ripe white peaches and white plums. Grass. The nose and palate are just fantastic. Super dry on the finish, it reminds me of a bone-dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc. Your tongue is left like sandpaper. Love it. When you pour in the yeast at the end, it becomes like a sweet bready dough. Rich and full. I would happily drink this beer again. And again. There is a certain Wild Ale beer lover in New Orleans who would adore this beer. You know who you are.