Belgian beers were my first love, a story that I’ve told here before. It took me a long time after enjoying beer to start brewing beer. Then it took me longer still to want to brew a Belgian. When I finally decided I wanted to brew one I had to read Stan Heironymous’ Brew Like A Monk first.
Rockmill is a semi-local brewery from Lancaster, Ohio. Lancaster is about 2 hours from here and slightly south-east of Columbus. They make the somewhat lofty claim that their local water ” is nearly identical in mineral content to that of Wallonia, Belgium, where Belgian ale originated.” They also use all organic ingredients in their beers. I’ve seen the Triple, Dubbel, and Witbier at various locations around town for a while now but have resisted trying them due to the $15 price. I drink a lot of beer and that gets expensive fast so when I’ve always opted for the $10 bomber/750 over the $15 one. I’m not sure why I changed my mind and finally picked this up but I’m glad I did!
Brewery: Rockmill Brewery
Style: Belgian Tripl
Calories: ~270 per glass
Super dense and cloudy orange brown with skim of white head.
Oh man, ultra pungent flowery aroma jumps out as soon as you pop the cork. Lots of spices, banana, cloves, loads of yeast, bit of bread.
Nice classic tripel flavors showing off some floral hops, much more banana taste, some other fruits like lemon and citrus stuff. Really nice and complex flavor.
Medium body with a pretty smooth feeling and a fair bit of carbonation.
No real sense of the 9% which is nice that you can enjoy this without it being in your face. Super awesomely complex aroma and taste are both very enjoyable. I strongly regret waiting so long to have this. $15 is kinda steep and is why I held off so long but honestly for a very small brewery making beers like this it’s not an unfair price. One thing to note was how hard it was to get the cork out. I’m not sure what that means but I had to get out the wine opener and fight with it a bit. Also kinda accidentally poured the yeast in and didn’t keep it separated too well.
This review was just on their tripel but coincidentally and unbeknownst to me fellow Cinci beer blogger Queen City Beer Nerd has just posted a review of the dubbel. I picked this bottle up at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate and you can check the Rockmill website for other locations around town as there are a few too many to list here.
I enjoyed this so much that I’m going to find some time this summer to get out to the brewery and try their other beers. I will, of course, let everyone know what I discover out in the rural Ohio countryside!
[Ed.: Today we have a great guest post from Jake Metzler, a writer for Midwest Supplies. Jake spends his free time writing songs, brewing beer, and drinking his creations. He’s still perfecting the practice of doing all three at once. He also has a growing collection of brewing supplies. Thanks for getting in touch with us and providing us with this piece!]
Chimay Beer Review and the Search for the Rare, Golden Chimay Dorée
Whether you’re a Trappist monk at the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Scourment in Belgium’s Hainaut province or a beer-lover, chances are you’re familiar with Chimay. For the sake of readers that aren’t members of a Belgian beer-brewing monastic order or haven’t encountered Chimay secularly- it’s a top-shelf brand of ales much sought by connoisseurs. There are three varieties publicly offered by the Chimay Brewery: Rouge (Red), Blanche (White) and Bleue (Blue).
Should this inspire you to seek out some Chimay, it’s probably my duty to moderate the hypothetical sticker-shock. While not Châteaux Lafite-expensive, you can expect to pay between $5.50 and $8… per 12 oz. bottle. Chimay also comes in 750 ml bottles that will set you back between $11 and $15. However, there’s another variety of Chimay that would set you back considerably more than $15 to acquire (unless you’re one of the previously-mentioned Chimay Trappists)…
On a trip to Indy last year I stumbled across 2 Belgians from a brewery I’d never heard of before and scored them both. The brewery was Schlafly, which I understand is one of the bigger/better breweries in St. Louis (not counting he who shall not be named). The beers were Tripel and Quadrupel, it’s nice to occasionally find simple straight forward beer names. When I got home I realized I bought way too much beer to fit in the fridge and decided that it was a good time to get into aging beer. I didn’t start with any lofty goals I just went in needing more space for beer and hoping to keep them for as long as possible. Well, this one made it a year and more friends have joined the Quad.
I’ve gone into the history of Tripels a few times in previous posts so to sum it up.
I’m gonna get this out of the way first, this beer is my overall favorite beer. I underline my and overall because this is my opinion and because it is my favorite when all aspects of the beer are considered. I’ll go into more detail on this in a bit, just wanted to let people know where I stand on this beer and where this review is headed.
Green Flash is rapidly growing as one of my favorite breweries. I only discovered them recently due to a friend and luckily, unlike some other recent breweries I’ve found, Green Flash is widely available in Ohio! In the past I’ve had their Palate Wrecker DIPA (review here) and The Hop Head Red (review here) both of which I loved. I’m now extremely excited to try my favorite beer style from one of my new favorite breweries. On to the beer!
Any dedicated readers know I’m a crazy Belgian fanatic, as such I’ve always been enticed by this Colorado brewery I’d heard rumors of known as New Belgium Brewing. Sadly though, they don’t distribute to Ohio or Kentucky, though I just discovered they do have limited distribution to Indiana. Over Memorial Day weekend I went up to Chicago to spend the holiday with my sister’s family. To my overwhelming delight I discovered that New Belgium had significant distribution to the Chicago Area. Needless to say I picked up one or two of every New Belgium style they had. Later in June we went to North Carolina for the beach where I again found excellent New Belgium coverage resulting in a few more styles for me to try. Now, I present the results of all the New Belgium beers I could buy.
I hope this review will inspire our readers to try New Belgium beers when they get a chance, and hopefully New Belgium will see this demand and add Ohio to their list of over 25 states.
Brewery: Great Divide
Alcohol by Volume: 9.3%
Another Belgian tripel from the folks at Sam Adams. The brewers took a couple interesting twists with this by dry hopping it with Saaz hops then they mix in their Kosmic Mother Funk. The Kosmic Mother Funk, besides now being on my must try list, is an oak aged Belgian ale. Let’s see how the New World compares to all the other Belgian Tripel’s out there.
Brewery: Sam Adams
Beer: New World
Alcohol by Volume: 10%
Getting back to my conquest of as many Belgian styled beers as I can get my hands on (and trying to clear the bombers out of the fridge to make the wife happy) I’m gleeful to review this beer.