Don't snub your nose at beer, folks. It is high time that beer came out from behind the shadows of Merlot & Cabernet or even Martini & Sidecar. How many times in my life have I heard, "umm...I'll just have a beer." Just? Just? We must change our attitude.
I have the perfect cure for those of you that doubt me. Belgian beers. Often touted as the finest beers in the world, they are likely very different than most beers that you may have tried. Because they continue to ferment after being bottled, Belgian beers are usually cloudy and may sometimes have a bit of sediment in the bottom...not unlike wine. This doesn't make the beer bad, it actually means that it can be stored longer and will often get better with age. There are many different types of Belgian beers. The most famous are: Pilsners, Trappist Beers, Lambics, Witbeirs, Abbey Beers and Saisons.
Today I am going to focus on an Abbey beer - Maredous Tripel. The Maredsous Monks of Devee, Belgium, entrusted their recipe to Duvel Moortgat in 1963. Of the three versions of Maredsous that Duvel produces, the Tripel is the strongest - clocking in at a whopping 10% alcohol. This is not the beer of choice for drinking games. But the taste is so good that I can't do it justice. Here is how a more qualified reviewer described it, "Pear slices macerated in Poire Williams and sprinkled with ground clove is present in each delectable gulp. Sipping doesn't cut it with beer this good."
So what are you waiting for? To be a true Hip Hostess, just prepare a big pot of steamed mussels & frites...then crack one of these puppies open. You won't miss having wine. --a