Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Say what you will about NEW BELGIUM BREWING, but when they set their minds to making a superb Belgian-style ale with a little experimental whoseewhatsis thrown on top, they hit their mark almost every time. That 22-ounce “Lips of Faith” series of theirs has delivered the goods every time I’ve dove into it, most pronouncedly with the sour ale “LA FOLIE” – a world-class ale if ever there was one. I was fortunate enough to be in Seattle, Washington a couple of weeks ago, and as is my custom, found 45 minutes to try some new beers over at BROUWER’S CAFE in the Fremont district. This is among our country’s finest beer halls, and is a must for your next visit to the Emerald City, aka “the San Francisco of the North”, aka “The Grown-Up’s Portland, Oregon”.

While at BROUWER’S I asked my friendly barmaid to be so kind as to grab me a glass of NEW BELGIUM’s “ABBEY GRAND CRU”, which I’ve seen in bottles as part of the aforementioned Lips of Faith series. It was a nice call, and restored my palate to some sort of normalcy after the tongue-burning Double Mountain IRA that I excoriated here. ABBEY GRAND CRU is indeed a Belgian abbey-style ale. Thin of body and sweet of smell, it’s a 9.5% ABV candy-coated Coloradan Belgian beer. It’s smooth and malty, redolent of dark fruits and zinging yeasts. Some real mouthfeel on this baby, you know what I mean? If I could sum it up in a word, I’d go with…..wait for it…..candy. And in this case, it’s not being used as a pejorative. It’s a complement and high praise. Great beer. 8/10.

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