Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Craft Beer Crosscut 7.17.19: Flight by Merchant du Vin

Ron Swarner


Beer flights in TacomaPeaks and Pints hosts a Belgian beer and artisan cheese pairing tonight. The Belgian beer and cheese pairing is part of our de Belgian Beerloo, a weeklong celebration of Belgian beer through Sunday, July 21, which is Belgian National Day. Merchant du Vin — the Seattle-based specialty beer importer representing Lindemans, Brasserie du Bocq, Westmalle Trappist and Trappistes Rochefort, to name a few — will provide the Belgian beers for Courtney C. Johnson — a cheesemonger and certified curd nerd living in the Seattle area — to pair with local artisanal cheese at 6 p.m. inside Peaks and Pints craft beer bar. Johnson, a PhD with an ACS CCP, owns PhCheese, a blog dedicated to expanding general knowledge and appreciation for all things cheese. She will explain where each cheese is farmed, whether it’s organic or biodynamic, and who farmed it. Beginning at 6 p.m., the five Belgian beer/five local artisanal cheese pairing flight will run $30, although the Belgian beers are available all day on a $14 flight we call Craft Beer Crosscut 7.17.19: Flight by Merchant du Vin.

Craft Beer Crosscut 7.17.19: Flight by Merchant du Vin

Du-Bocq-Blanche-de-Namur-TacomaDu Bocq Blanche de Namur

4.5% ABV, 11 IBU

In 1320, near Yvoir-Purnode, Belgium, Princess Blanche of Namur was born. Fifteen years later, her father, Count of Namur, allowed King Magnus IV of Sweden to court his daughter. They married a year later, and Princess Blanche became Queen Blanche of Sweden and Norway. In memory of her “sweetness, beauty, and delicacy,” Brasserie Du Bocq dedicated their witbier to her. Blanche de Namur is made from barley malt, unmalted wheat, hops, and the classic witbier spices: coriander and bitter orange peel. It also has a touch of brewer’s licorice. It’s a mellow beer, thirst-quenching but smooth, with slightly acid flavor, powdery consistency on the tongue, but not bitter. Cheese paired at 6 p.m.: Samish Bay Creamery Aged Ladysmith

Lindemans-Jonge-Lambik-TacomaLindemans Jonge Lambik

5% ABV

Lambics, wild-fermented beers from Belgium’s Senne River Valley, show complex, interesting, sour flavors. Brewers like Lindemans blend lambic batches from different years to make gueuze, and also often add fruit for beautiful balance. Lindemans has begun to package newly-fermented, unblended single-batch lambic in kegs: Jonge Lambik, which translates to “Young Lambic.” It’s basically a pure, rare, young, uncarbonated, unblended, unsweetened lambic. It hits the nose with oak, barnyard funk, lemon, grass, cheese must, with a finish of funky and soured yeast. Taste has some lime and more wood from the smell, plus a little lambic sweetness before the sour and funk finish. Body is a little thin, but otherwise a very authentic and nice lambic. Cheese paired at 6 p.m.: Lost Peacock Creamery Whipped Chevre

Lindemans-Strawberry-TacomaLindemans Strawberry

4.1% ABV, 12 IBU

Indigenous to the Senne Valley of Belgium, lambics stem from a farmhouse brewing tradition several hundred years old. These brews are spontaneously fermented — meaning pots containing the wort are left outside and uncovered, allowing whatever critters happen to be flying by on a passing breeze to ferment the beer. These wild yeast give lambics their distinct tartness. Most Belgian brewers also utilize aged hops, which add antibacterial properties to the beer, rather than bitterness or flavor. In the case of fruit lambics, whole fruits are traditionally added after halfway through fermentation to add sweetness and new dimensions of flavor. Lindemans Strawberry is the brewery’s most recent new fruited lambic. Choosing strawberry, one of the most noble of fruits, was easy: the complex sweetness of the fruit matches perfectly with the sourness of lambic, resulting in a unique balanced marriage of sweet and sour. The recipe was developed specifically for the ever-developing tastes in the US market. It sports a rosy hue, with a aroma of ripened strawberries. Shows complex, captivating flavors; delicate sweetness is balanced by traditional lambic tartness in the finish. Cheese paired at 6 p.m.: Tieton Farm & Creamery Velvet

Abbaye-Notre-Dame-de-Saint-Remy-Trappistes-Rochefort-6-TacomaAbbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy Trappistes Rochefort 6

9.2% ABV, 22 IBU

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy, which sits in a large valley close to Rochefort in the province of Namur, in Belgium, is home to a community of Trappist monks (Cistercians of the Strict Observance). The three brown ales produced by the abbey — Rochefort 6, Rochefort 8 and Rochefort 10— can be tasted in the nearby town of Rochefort and all over the world. Rochefort Trappist 6 is named after its original gravity measured in “Belgian degrees” — a brewing scale no longer used today. It was first sold to the public in 1953. Bottle-conditioned for soft natural carbonation, and the oldest of the three Rochefort Trappist beers, Rochefort 6 has the reddish color of autumn leaves, a soft body and an earthy, herbal palate (a hint of Darjeeling tea), which develops into a deep fruitiness. Refined, soft spiciness in the bouquet finishes with a bit caramel. Cheese paired at 6 p.m.: Cascadia Creamery Glacier Blue

Brouwerij-der-Trappisten-van-Westmalle-Dubbel-TacomaBrouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle Dubbel

7% ABV, 24 IBU

In 1836 the Belgian Westmalle monastery became a Trappist Abbey and began brewing beer shortly thereafter. The holy suds they produced started out as an insider-only deal — a choice beverage to be made and enjoyed by Trappists and Trappists alone, but eventually they decided to expand and opened up a public beer hall in the early 1930s. Westmalle Dubbel is a dark, reddish-brown Trappist beer with a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The creamy head has the fragrance of special malt and leaves an attractive lace pattern in the glass. The flavor is rich and complex, herby and fruity with a fresh-bitter finish. It is a balanced quality beer with a soft feel in the mouth and a long, dry aftertaste. Cheese paired at 6 p.m.: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Four-Year Aged Flagship