Getting the weekly beer suggestion out late this week, because despite my heroic (ok, super lazy) searching efforts, the first couple beers I thought about are not, sadly, available at any of the liquor stores that I checked. Amazingly enough though, I found that while I had never heard of this week’s beer before traveling to Bruges (a fairytale town near the northern part of Belgium, and the subject of a hilarious movie starring Colin Farrell), the Cheeky Monk, of all places – being the site of two of Michael and my first three dates, rotates this beer on their menu.
Weekly beer suggestion for the week of October 1, 2012:
De Halve Maan Triple
“De Halve Maan” means “half-moon”, and that’s the symbol of the brewery as well. This brewery sits on a side street in Bruges, and they also have a beautiful food menu with which they pair their beer. In Denver we pair our beer with good eats from food trucks, since most breweries don’t serve food, but in Belgium almost every brewery either serves food or has an adjacent tasting room that serves food.
We stopped at De Halve Maan during our walking tour of Bruges – it was only like 10am, so Michael drank both of my beers (he was drunk and hilarious during the rest of the walking tour – I’ll send a picture or two around in next week’s email). However, I tasted them, and they were the type of relaxed, un-pretentious beers that you are super happy to have access to within walking distance of your house.
The brewery was started in 1856 in Bruges. They have the phrase “Brugse Zot” on their label, along with a little clown guy (a court jester, or “fool”). The story behind the term “Brugse Zot” is that to welcome Maximilian of Austria to their proud town, the people of Bruges organized a colorful parade of merrymakers and fools. When they asked him at the end of the day to provide money for a new madhouse he replied: “Today I have seen nothing but fools. Bruges is already one large madhouse!” Since then the people of Bruges are called “Brugse Zotten” (fools of Bruges).
The beer Is brewed with four different kinds of malt, and two kinds of hops. It has a 6% ABV, and definitely an easy drinker. There is the triple and the dubbel (the dubbel has an ABV of 7.5% and is brewed with six kinds of malt and they use the Tcheque Saaz hop). While usually the triple (which is actually called just a pale blond ale by the brewery) is served only at the brewery, they have recently started kegging it for the U.S., so you are more likely to find it on tap at a restaurant than you are at a liquor store.
The website globalbeer.com describes this beer as a “great refreshing beer to drink with company during pleasant times, or moments of extreme fun.” That’s a ringing endorsement, if you ask me!!!