Posts Tagged ‘Mikkeller’

Thanksgiving Sour Ales

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

The Huffington Post has an article with Thanksgiving beer suggestions by Justin Philips from Beer Table. Three of the six are sour ales: Rodenbach Grand Cru, BFM‘s Abbaye de Saint Bon Chien, and the Leipziger Gose from Bayerischer Bahnhoff.

My family had Thanksgiving early this year, and it occurred to me that sour ales are particularly suitable for Thanksgiving. In many ways a sour ale is much like a fine wine, seeming to balance the food in a way that a lot of beer doesn’t. Also it’s a really good chance to challenge your family and friends’ expectations about beer. The large (wine-sized) bottles it’s sold in encourage sharing.

Here are several sour beers I think would make a good addition to a Thanksgiving table. Mariage Parfait, the oude geuze from Brouwerij Boon in Lembeek, Belgium, compares favorably with champagne. I’ve written about the rich aroma, which seems light but draws you in, and the bold yet approachable flavor.

Another good choice to match a Thanksgiving meal is Duchesse de Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe in Vichte, Belgium. This is a richer beer, with a strong flavor reminiscent of balsamic vinegar. It also has dark fruit and port character. This is one of my favorites; you can read more about it in one of my two reviews.

My last suggestion isn’t actually sour, but it is brewed with Brettanomyces wild yeast. It’s Alive from Mikkeller, the gypsy brewer, also has a bright champagne-like quality. But It’s Alive is a little stronger and has a healthy infusion of hops to boot. The balance between the hop bitterness and the earthy character from the brett is masterful.

IPA Week: Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

While Mikkeller is officially located in KĂžbenhavn, Denmark, head brewer and co-creator Mikkel Borg Bjergs refers to himself as a “gipsy-brewer” for his habit of brewing in facilities located around Europe and the world. The Simcoe Single Hop IPA, for instance, was brewed at the De Proefbrouwerij in Lochristi, Belgium.

2009-07-05-mikkellerThe Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop has a rich hoppy aroma that draws your attention from across the table. A thick citrus and delicate floral hop nose dominates, rich and round and full. Just a hint of toasty pale malt comes through as well. A generous pillow of creamy beige head sits atop a very hazy caramel-colored beer with plenty of chunks of yeast at the bottom.

A bitterness that is quite strong but not at all sharp hides the delicate hop flavor to some extent. Light citric and flowery hops meet the tip and sides of the tongue while the pervasive bitterness rides up the middle. Just sweet enough to give a solid creamy palate, this beer avoids being overpowered by the hop bitterness or the active carbonation. The problem with beers that have amazing aromas is that no matter how good the flavor is it will always be just a little bit disappointing. Likewise with the Simcoe Single Hop: the wonderful flavor is overshadowed by the near-perfect aroma.

Overall an incredible IPA. Despite being almost 7% alcohol this beer has a great delicate character that makes it way too sessionable. If I had several around I’d easily get myself in trouble.

++Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA

4.3 (4-9-8-5-17)