Nothing goes together better than beer and barbecue, so anytime I have an opportunity to combine the two I jump at it. Although I really like where I live in Downtown Brooklyn, a major drawback is that I have nowhere convenient to actually do the barbecuing myself. Pete's Waterfront Ale House makes some dynamite ribs, but sometimes I like to do them myself. Luckily I have two sister-in-law's who live in New Jersey and they let me store my stuff and do my cooking at their houses. On a recent nice Sunday I took advantage of this and headed on out.
You may have noticed that I did say beer and barbecue so I stocked up on a couple of six packs before getting to work on my meat.
Have A Very Merry Monk
Merry Monk's Ale is brewed by Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Pennsylvania. It is a Tappist style Tripel and comes in at a hefty 9.3% alcohol. A Tripel is called that because brewers use up to three times the amount of malt that you would find in standard Trappist style ales. This gives them a nice gold color and a nice head.
Barbecue And Beer
I guess technically I am smokin', not barbecuein' but why quibble over details. As you can see, the ribs look delicious and the ale was mighty fine as well. It has a nice fruity nose and flavor, apples and bananas come to mind with a malty smoothness. One to be careful of because the alcoholic content is well masked. This is definitely a keeper.
My brother-in-law Jim showed up and he brought some beers of his own.
Jim And La Rulles
As you can see, demented minds think alike because the La Rulles is a Tripel as well. It is brewed by La Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles in Rulles, Belgium so it is the real deal. It is a paltry 8.4% alcohol so compared to the Merry Monk it is almost a session beer. I also have an idea why those Monks were so merry.
This beer undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle so it pours a bit on the hazy side due to the residual yeast. This is to be expected and simply adds to the flavor. Neophytes sometimes turn up their noses at this cloudiness and think it means the beer has gone bad. No, no, no.
It had a nice orangey color and a bit of an orangey aroma as well. It isn't very highly carbonated and the thin head dissipates very quickly. You get a bit of hops and spice with a slight pepper back taste. A perfectly decent beer. La Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles has only been around since 2000 so it is not one of those venerable old breweries that you stumble upon occasionally.
Rather than pass the bottle around this ale actually made it into a glass. Although not the traditional tulip glass a purist would insist upon.
I also had a sixpack of Flying Fish Belgian Style Doubel that I picked up. Flying Fish Brewery always put out great beers and I am a big fan of their products. They are located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey so they are almost neighbors.
This beer is a comparatively mild 7% alcohol but packs plenty of flavor. It is a darker beer, more of a brown color, and probably should have been poured into a glass to really enjoy the flavor. But, what can you say, I was just quaffing, and not really tasting. I don't think this one made it into a glass at all.
Bar Man And Jim Quaffing A Brew
The beer is a nice combination of hops and malts but with the traditional spice and fruit nose and taste of beers of this type. Of course this was my third beer of this type of the day and Bar Man doesn't exactly sip and spit. I suspect that by this time my taste buds were getting a bit worn out. Next time I get this beer I will start with it.
Jim also brought along a bottle of La Chouffe, another fine Belgian Ale. This one brewed by Brasserie dAchouffe in Achouffe, Belgium. Again, big bottle so this one got the glass treatment. Well, from me it did. Jim, who has no class, drank from a coffee cup.
Bar Man And Jim About To Be Chuffed With A La Chouffe
We were back up to 8% alcohol with this one and it was holding up well. Drinking Belgian style beers all day gives you a certain perspective on things. I felt like I wanted a waffle.
A nice orangey tint and a decent head when first poured. It had the requisite mix of flowers and spice. You can also get a good taste of the yeast. The alcohol comes through pretty good on this one so you won't really get sand-bagged by it. Again, it is a bit cloudy with yeast residual on the bottom of the bottle. Jim claimed there was more in the bottle than just yeast though.
Look What I Found In My Cup
I guess it must be the secret ingredient.
After a day of drinking and eating there was only one thing left to do. Have desert. For some reason we all thought s'mores would be a good idea and there was enough heat left in the coals to make a batch.
Toasting The Marshmallow
Now for anyone who doesn't know what a s'more is, it is a delectable treat made by making a sandwich out of two Graham crackers, a piece of Hershey's chocolate and a toasted marshmallow.
The Finished Product
As always a great time was had by all, especially by Jim and Bar Man.