Moving on from the Belgian influence with the Valhalla, this week's Beer of the Week is the English inspired Voyageur Pale Ale! It's a classic pale ale, using a bit more hops than most brews but less than an IPA.
This brew uses almost all Pale Ale malt with a little Caramel Blonde and Gold for color and extra flavor. The style of the Pale Ale was first brewed in England some 300 years ago as the first lighter colored brew accomplished with a more controlled malting process, versus the standard stouts and porters.
The Voyageur Pale Ale is 50% for all pints, pitchers and growlers, including shipping. Come on down to try one out or load up for Ice Box Days this weekend!
After releasing last week, we thought it would be a good time to provide a little extra spotlight on this wonderful new batch of the Valhalla by making it beer of the week, meaning it's 50% off all pints, off sale and shipping. One of the advantages of making a brew the beer of the week, is everyone gives it a try, and if good, which this is, will become a more regular consumed beverage, especially important if it's been off the tap for a while, people forget about it and it needs a proper re-introduction.
Given that the breweries have been going on for so long, they also have yeast strains that likewise have been conditioned and perfected over centuries. Not to mention on the other extreme with the lambics, capturing wild yeast from the air and oak aging it for years, this takes some serious faith and determination, as so many things can go wrong with so many unknown variables, yet given enough time, one can learn how to counter such extremes, some of which is discussed in this YouTube video about Chimay.
Herbs and Spices
While beer can be great with the pure basics such as malt, hops and yeast, similar to cooking where some of the best meals are the simplest, sometimes adding a pinch of this or that will give make the meal so better. Same with beer, adding some complimentary herbs in spices in just the right amounts and perfected over centuries, help to provide a subtle uniqueness, flavor, and complexity that pushes the limits of your taste buds and makes reaching for another pint. German, Czech, British and Irish beers don't do this bother much with such herbs and spices. Their location and climate could have something to do with it, providing more historical access to different ingredients from France and likewise the rest of the Mediterranean, combined with centuries of trial and error focused mostly on beer. Where as to the south in France wine was the big thing and to the north was more Scotch, whiskeys and other stronger liquors.
And lastly is the culture, beer is king in Belgium, forget wines and liquors, the only beverage that really matters is beer. There's this one monastery that sells beer to the public once per year, people wait in line for hours to get their maximum amount of one or two cases and if you're lucky, you'll meet someone willing to share a bottle. Nowhere does this happen anywhere in the world besides Belgium. Beer is practically their strongest identity, with chocolate a distant second. This strong beer culture helps and support their breweries, pushing them to continue producing the highest quality beer possible.
So yeah, Belgian beers can be pretty interesting. At Loony's we have two main Belgian style brews to try, the Valhalla Blonde and the Drunken Loon Dark. The Valhalla includes coriander and light Belgian yeast, and the Drunken Loon is bit more eccentric with coriander, grains of paradise, cardamom, and star anise. Try them out with a flight or pint and get a taste of Belgium.
There's no doubt that there's something about the coldness of winter where a nice dark brew, rich with chocolate and dark malts, seems to really hit the spot. They go great for having one or two on their own, with some warm comfort food, or a quality desert beverage.
To celebrate this, we're declaring this January to be Dark Brew January with all dark brews 25% off for growlers or off-sale, including shipping. The brews that are in this group are the Black Swan Stout, Flying Squirrel Amber, Loch Ness Scottish Ale, Drunken Loon Strong Belgian, Amber Maple, Black Bear-E, Drunken Pancake, and the Grindstone Coffee Chocolate Stout. While some of these could be considered not dark such as the Flying Squirrel Amber or Ample Maple, we figured they we're close enough.
Come on down to have a pint or place an online order for delivery. Start 2020 right with plenty of dark brews to combat the brutal cold of January.
It's been a while for this specific brew but as we're slowly catching up from summer, the Valhalla has made its return, but with a small Belgian twist. That being changing the yeast from a Fermentis BE-256 to the T-58, providing a much stronger Belgian flavor and aroma. While both are considered Belgian yeasts, the T-58 is what you could call the classic Belgium blend, and as Belgium is known for having some of the best beers in the world, not to be ignored. Their yeast strands go back centuries and while lots of herbs and spices help with your typical Belgian brew, a big reason for their unique flavor is the yeast and we're excited to finally have one available and on tap.
Come down to try one out or if you prefer we ship it you, no problem.
Welcome to 2020!!!