When considering a Belgian Brown Ale (Dubbel), one must realize that the Belgian variety will differ much from an American Brown. Belgian beers possess bright flavors, even if the beer is somewhat dark. American Brown’s are far heavier on the tongue, much heavier malt character and hop notes, Belgian’s depend on the yeast to bring flavors unseen in American beers. After pouring the first glass, I immediately took a whiff, very bright aroma notes, with hints of orange, spice and an underlying earthy tone. That earthiness carried straight through to the flavor, which was quite rustic, but contrasted very well by the bright acidic, almost citrusy flavors to follow. A slight malt sweetness was there, rounded out by a tinge of hop bitterness, very well balanced. A very nice, snappy carbonation led to a fairly quick finish. Another marvelous Belgian Ale in my opinion. It’s quite remarkable what such artisans can do with yeast, instead of obscene amounts of hops and malt, like here in the US.
Tonights dinner consisted of a grilled sirloin steak, sauteed mushrooms, potato pancakes and fresh cut corn. Preparation and cooking was quite simple and really didn’t take much time at all. It seemd as though I slaved for hours to cook such a meal, the flavors were out of this world and was a spin on the typical meat and potato’s meal. The Abbey Brown complimented the meal rather well, with a touch of contrast also. At first taste the malt marched right along side the sweet, caramelized grilled meat. The spicy, hop flavors sliced directly through the fats and layed the savory flavors straight down on the tongue, and a slight earthiness to the beer matched the mushrooms seamlessly. With bright, acidic, citrussy notes, the beer contrasted the dark flavors of the meat, which was very refreshing. This brown ale has a clean, snappy finish and plenty of carbonation to cleanse the palate. What a terrific companion to your grilled steak.

Steak – 1 lb. Sirloin Steak. Salt and pepper rub, with a dash of olive oil. Cooked over a gas grill on medium high heat, 2 minutes per side. Drop heat to low and allow steak to bake, remove from direct heat. Be sure to temp your meat to know when it is cooked, also let stand for 5 minutes before serving. 8-10 minutes grill time

Potato cakes – Simply make up a batch of instant mashed potatoes. When finished, dash with garlic salt and a bit of cheddar cheese. Let cool, place on greased cookie sheet and flatten with a spatula. Broil the potato’s on high or until crispy brown. 20-25 minutes broil time

Mushrooms – Use a small sautee pan with about 2 tbsp. food oil (olive, canola, etc.). Heat the oil on the stove top and add the mushrooms. Sautee until they begin to decrease in size. Remove from heat and cover with a lid, mushrooms will continue to cook. 5-7 minutes saute time

Fresh corn – This is corn that we picked ourselves and froze, it tasted totally different than the store bought variety. Although, you can substitute that type if need be. Simply, heat the corn on the stove top, in a small sauce pan with a small amount of water. 5-10 minutes reheat time

beer + food = Barleydine



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