Instead of occupying, bickering or sarcasm, people all across the United States should instead lift a glass and toast to the fact that no matter how divided we may seem to be right now, we can all enjoy a beer. And a nice Belgian one at that.
Vanberg & DeWulf, Belgian beer importer is teaming up with Untappd to present The Coast to Coast Toast on November 15. Concurrently, Untappd will premiere the Belgian beer badge in Vanberg & DeWulf’s honor that day as well.
According to the organizers, “an estimated 350 bars, restaurants, and shops across America will feature Vanberg & DeWulf beers and raise a toast to the importer that has been singularly dedicated to building Belgian beer connoisseurship in the USA.” Here in the Southland, Lucky Baldwin’s is part of the festivities.
Unless you wish to simply enjoy a slice of Belgium brewing history at home. Pick an offering such as Saison Dupont, Moinette, Scaldis, Peche Mel, Hop Ruiter, Lambrucha, Lambickx, Witkap , DeCam, Vicaris, Castelain and Contessa, earn a badge from Untappd, then you can enter a drawing to win a trip for two to Belgium!
Here in the U.S we are blessed to have such a massive influx of Belgian beer to choose from. According to Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield of Vanberg DeWulf, “These days choices are overwhelming for beginning Belgian beer drinkers. Not only are there 800 or so beers being imported from Belgium, but virtually every domestic brewery has an American iteration.”
Maybe all the toasting being done on Tuesday will create a tidal wave of goodwill that will sweep the nation. Beer is good at creating that.
For the craft Beer of the Week, I recommend 11-11-11. We are nearing the finish line of the Vertical Epic series that Stone Brewing began way back on 2-2-02. And they are not running out of creative ideas yet. After 12-12, there will be some truly epic vertical tastings of each beer from this landmark series. Last year’s featured wine grapes and chamomile and the year before it was chocolate malt and tangerine peel. But back to this year, the “recipe starts with a base beer akin to a Belgian amber, and is tweaked with the addition of mild but flavorful Anaheim chilies from New Mexico’s Hatch Valley and cracked cinnamon sticks.”
Your Homework this week is to start making a list of the beers you want to drink, breweries you want to visit or perhaps even a beer style you want to learn about before 2011 becomes history. Now, this isn’t some test to be graded upon. You don’t graduate to a higher level of beer geek by completing it. But with so many beers hitting the market and new breweries starting to pop-up, I find it very helpful to have a beer bucket list to refer to.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.