AA while back, my fiancé and I brewed a Belgian Strong Dark ale at 14%. I was teaching her how to brew a Belgian beer that had a high degree of difficulty in fermentation technique.
The brew started off well. We made our own inverted Belgian candi syrup and proceeded to mash in. We nailed our efficiency and started our boil. As we were approaching boil, Kaleigh was pitching the Belgian rock candy when I heard a shriek.
I thought she had burnt herself with the hot wort. Within that split second I was ready to wrap her arm in a cold cloth and rush her to the hospital. I went into “go” mode, just anticipating the worst. As I turned from sanitizing our carboy, I realized that she had not scalded herself, but something was off as the look on her face was of sheer terror.
She was pointing at the mixing bowl and shouting ear-piercing unintelligible words. I came over to see a giant spider resting in the Belgian rock candy. He blended in. I quickly dispatched of said arachnid and went on with our brew.
The spider was an omen to come. It took months of fermentation and various techniques to get the beer to finish. When it was done, it turned out remarkable.
This beer is an homage to that first beer that we brewed many moons ago as a homebrew. No spiders were harmed in the making of this beer, and my ear drums have since recovered.
Style – Belgian Dark
IBU’s – 20
ABV – 6.2%
Hops – Styrian Goldings, Fuggles, Mt Hood
Malts – Pilsner, Munich, Special B, Chocolate, De-bittered Black
Adjuncts - Belgian Candi Syrup
Appearance – Pours a dark brown body, flashing a little crimson when held to the light. With a tall, lasting taupe head.
Smell – Bananas and clove fold into ripe berries with a small spritz of drifting alcohol. Hints of caramel and dark chocolate candy hide beneath
Taste – This beer has an amalgam of flavors, cocoa blended with a driving dark fruity sweetness. Plums, figs, and cherries come to the fore front. Mid palate a dusting of chocolate candy becomes apparent. A mild phenolic black pepper spice finishes off the profile with light lingering roasted malts.
Mouth feel – Smooth with a thick body, medium carbonation.
Food Pairings - Bruschetta, Meatball Sub, The Barbeque, and the Peperoni Pizza.
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