Jumat, 28 Oktober 2011

Belgium Beer Research

My first beer was a Miller in 1965. I drank it behind Our Aunt of Jesus Catholic Church. Two more foolowed fast. The contents of the three bottles met my stomach's disfavor and I spew out the beer like a whale breaching the surface of the ocean. The pastor's Sunday sermon was dedicated to the evils of teenage drinking. His words came too late for me. I had vowed to never again drink beer.That pledge was adjusted to restrict Miller beer from touching my lips. Schlitz slide down my throat smooth as a milk shake. My friends were fans of Bud, but I stayed with the beer that made Milwaukee famous. There was something about Budweiser that wasn't right and I only drink it when there is nothing else available. American beer has a bad reputation thanks to Budweiser.“I find American beer a bit like having sex in a canoe. It's fucking close to water.”~ Oscar Wilde on American BeerOver the years I've drunk Olympia, Coors, Busch, Iron City, Narragansett, Carling, Labatt, Molson, Pabst, and hundreds of other brews, but American beer was knocked off my palate by Heiniken. Corona in Mexico, Karlsberg in Denmark, 1664 in France, Tiger in Malaysia, Bintang in Indonesia, Leo in Thailand have sated my thirst. Stella was my beer of choice during my stay in Fort Greene. I had several thousand at Frank's Lounge on Fulton Street. I miss drinking in that bar, but my recent move to Luxembourg has exposed me to the beauty of Belgium beers. Leffe, Duvel and Stella Artois are good supping beers.They are nothing in comparison to the Trappist beers such Achel, Dubbel, Chimay, Orval, and dark Rochefort. None of them are under 7% alcohol. Vonelli took me on a tour of a Trappist monastery south of Charleroi. The abbey was in ruins. Not a single monk inhabited the property. Abbeye d'Aulne was served at the nearby restaurant overlooking the canal. We had a fine meal of fish. Three courses cost $30. We drank three beers. I had never tasted better and we ordered a fourth."What I like about Belgium is seeing little old ladies drinking beer in the cafes at noon. It make me feel good." Vonelli has been living in Belgium for years. "That's it?" The first sip of the fourth glass was as good as the fourth sip from the first beer."That and the beer." There were other attractions and one of them was Charleroi, the ugliest city in all of Europe. It also has good beer. Beer is Belgium as much as frites and mayonnaise. In fact beer was so popular in Belgium that a low-alcohol version was served in schools up to the 1970s.I'm drinking a Duvel for lunch with Cod fried in olive oil.It's 8.5 % alcoholI think I'll have another.

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