TIP OF THE DAY: Belgian Beer Tasting
How about a Belgian beer tasting for Father’s Day?
Until the American craft beer revolution, which began in the 1970s and blossomed in the 1990s toward the current wealth of craft breweries, Belgium was the [pretty small] country that produced the broadest range of beers.
For a social gathering, you can offer tastes of the different styles and pair them with appropriate nibbles. Of course, you can choose any country or style of beer, but this recommendation honors the great Belgian beer tradition.
Where to start?
There are styles of beer produced in Belgium; American craft brewers are making some of them. Some closely follow the Belgian style; others are more creative interpretations.
Here’s a selection to put together for a tasting, recommended by Flavor And The Menu, a magazine and website for chefs who want to know what’s trending:
Gueuze, a style of lambic beer, can be an eye opener. Photo courtesy Belgium.BeerTourism.com.
Quadrupels are more intense versions of dubbels, with an ABV range of 9% to almost 14%—the latter as much alcohol as a glass of wine!
Food Pairing: Grilled red meat or braises, Chinese food (think sweet-or-sour with the sour beer) and triple crème cheeses.
Food Pairing: Mussels in white wine, crab or washed-rind cheeses for gueuze lambics; mains or desserts that match with the fruit (duck with cherries or cherry pie with kriek, for example); asparagus quiche or frittata; fennel and apple salad.