Beer of the Week: Victory’s Golden Monkey

Posted on January 18th, 2011

Victory Brewing Golden Monkey

About the beer:

Victory Brewing Company’s Golden Monkey is an American adaptation of the traditional Belgian-style strong ale now commonly found around the world. We’ve talked a lot about Belgian-style ales here at Beeriety and there are several themes that make this beer uniquely different than that of its predecessors from across the seas.

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Beer of the Week: Duvel Belgian Golden Ale

Posted on November 2nd, 2010

The Beeriety team is all about discovering new types of beer. That’s why we’re telling you all what we’re drinking and what we’re thinking in our new weekly segment: Beer of the Week! We’ll cover a wide variety of styles, the first of which we’re talking about today: the Duvel Belgian golden ale.

About the beer:

Brewed for the first time just after the World War I, Duvel was known at first as ‘Victory Ale’. Following its devilish nature as a Belgian strong ale (8.5% ABV), it soon became ‘Duvel’ (Dutch for devil) and has been known under that name ever since.

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Sugar & Spice: An Intro to Beer Spices

Posted on August 20th, 2010

The history of spices in beer is as old and varied as beer itself. Despite the fact that hops have become the predominant spicing agent used in most contemporary styles, that was not always the case.  In areas where hops are not native or easily grown the role of hops was frequently played by another bitter and/or mildly anti-septic plant, such as marigold, burdock, juniper, or heather. In fact, during the Middle Ages, a substance known as gruit (a mash-up of various herbs and spices) was used to provide the same preservative and flavoring benefits that hops can provide. As recently as the Renaissance, spicing beer was still fairly common all across Europe. Grains of Paradise (a peppery member of the ginger family) was particularly popular and was most likely used to cover over the stale or sour flavors of beer that had been improperly made or stored.

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Style Profile: Biere de Champagne

Posted on September 15th, 2009

Riddling the champagne

Riddling the Champagne

Biere de Champagne is a new style in which beer is put through a similar process as the one traditionally used to produce Champagne, known as the méthode Champenoise. The beer making process and Champagne making process are already very similar, but the extra steps taken when producing this style give it unique qualities that any serious beer drinker should try.

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Some Like it Cold, A Discussion About Proper Beer Temperature

Posted on June 15th, 2009

thermometerIce Cold. It’s the way we’ve been taught to drink beer for years by commercial after commercial of icy mountains over flowing with ice cold beer, women in bikinis, and what looks to be refreshment. It’s true, when the sun is beating down on you on a blistering summer day, few things can cool you off like an icy beverage. If however you’re looking for something more from your beer beyond it’s temperature, something like taste, you might want to try letting you beer warm up a bit to a cool, not ice cold temperature.

Why? Because ice cold beer numbs your taste buds and doesn’t allow the beer to develop its full flavor potential. Ice cold anything numbs your taste buds, just like it will with any part of your body, that’s just what ice does. Drinking your beer at ice cold temperatures may be a great way to cool off but it’s also a great way to keep from fully tasting your beer.

Although the optimal temperature for each style of beer varies, a safe bet is to drink your beer when it’s slightly below room temperature, say around 50 to 60 degrees. This will ensure maximum sensation for your tongue and maximum enjoyment for you.

Don’t have a thermometer handy? Just set your beer on the counter for a few minutes after taking it out from the fridge and if you at a bar, avoid chilled glasses.

If you want to get more precise with the proper temperature from one style to another, there is a handy chart from Real Beer for the details.

  • Fruit beers at 40-50° F.
  • Wheat beers and pale lagers at 45-50° F.
  • Pale ales and amber or dark lagers at 50-55° F.
  • Strong ales, such as barley wines and Belgian ales, at 50-55° F.
  • Dark ales, including porters and stouts, at 55-60° F.

As they suggest, the stronger the brew the closer to 60° degrees you want your beer to be.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “but I’ve tried warm beer before, it tasted gross.” You’re right, it probably was gross, especially if it was a light lager like Coors Light or Bud Light. Unfortunately here in America many major brewers put a premium on value over quality, which means they count on you never getting a proper taste of their light lagers. Beyond that though, the lower the alcohol in the beer the lower the temperature should and many light beers tend to be relatively light in the alcohol as well compared to many craft brews.