This Westmalle is divine, and I teeter dangerously close on the edge of falling completely into my Trappist beer, head first for a communion with god.
I know everyone knows Belgium is famous for its beers, and its true: If you so much as think yourself a beer connoisseur, do yourself a favor and hop on plane to this tiny country at least once in your lifetime to savor a local brew onsite because buying the imported bottles doesn’t do it justice.
Tonight, I sit at a café across from the Antwerp Cathedral, its upstairs balcony warped and cramped and tiny from centuries of a jolly good time from way back when people here were much shorter, rowdier, and smellier, relishing the same heady aroma and sniff of hops, barley, and whatever else goes in a brew.
In my hands is one of my favorites, and next to me, my cousin tries a special, the Duvel Triple Hop, an oxymoron of terms, I know, but goodness gracious, it might just be my second favorite this trip, the first going to the seasonal brew Affligem Noël.
Colorado artisanal brewers look to Belgium for its beer culture and tradition, and even though I think the a Rocky Mountain state boasts a host of stellar microbrews and craft brews, they don’t hold a candle to the sophistication of a true, blue Belgian beer.
It’s astounding, actually, the ability to create ambrosia out of water and grain, something so full-bodied, smooth, light, a contradiction for the senses in its depth, an experience in every cup, something to truly be savored, adored.
This truly is work of spiritual proportion, nectar of the heavens, and it’s no wonder, I suppose, that the monks are the one who perfected the craft.
À la votre!