Breweries "Visited"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pirates, Piraat, and Long John Silver's: The Trilogy

Day #611 Piraat Triple Hops / Brouwerij Van Steenberge, Ertvelde, Belgium
Previously from this brewery: Have I reached "just click this button" status for Van Steenberge? I have.

So after our first beer and the wildly unsafe tour through the bottling area, we checked out some of the other operations at Van Steenberge before settling back into the tasting room to unwind and see how badly injured some of the team was from the steam incident (just some melted sneaker, thankfully).  One of the beers sampled was a special pour that isn't usually available in the tasting room - Piraat Triple Hops, a relatively new beer in their line-up.  In fact, Piet, the father-in-law of the owner, had someone bring up a case just for us to try - another fringe benefit of rolling like a VIP with the Beercycling crew!  Triple hopped beers seem to be the mini-Belgian version of the American craft beer arms race, as Duvel also has thrown their hat in the ring with a triple hop.

This one poured an amber color with a typical monster white, fluffy head.  There's a light pine aroma, with a nice, mellow bitterness.  If Belgian brewers are ramping up their hops and bitterness, they're doing it baby steps at a time and remembering to bring solid flavors and balance along for the ride.  It was referred to as one of the bitterest beers in Belgium - I haven't tried them all, so I'll just take their word for it.  As was said by someone along the way, "Belgian hoppy beers end where American hoppy beers just begin."  True enough, but that doesn't make this beer any less tasty.
Ahoy, matey!
I have a note that I wrote indicating that this beer is going to be sold in America under a different name, much how Augustijn will be sold as St. Stefanus.  However, this beer was right about where the party was starting to kick into high gear, so I may have that last fact incorrect.  I think it may also be 10.5% ABV, which also may explain why I don't know the full story of renaming this beer in America.

Thing to Think About Today:
Piraat in the glass means you get stuck learning that one of my favorite books as a kid was Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson.  As a child, I found this to be a magical tale of pirates, buried treasure, and the open sea.  Look, if adults are going to read books made for children (looking at you, Hunger Games), adults should probably take a moment and re-read the classics.  Even better if you do it with your child, and teach them to appreciate good literature.

Other things of note that you may find interesting (or not):
1. One of my other favorite books, as I've already told you, is Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.  In fact, I also just read a book about the true story that Moby Dick was based on, where the crew of a whaling boat floated across the Pacific for 90 days before being rescued.  Check out In the Heart of the Sea, by Nathanial Philbrick, for a captivating and scary story.
2. Clearly I like books about adventure on the seas, as I also read an amazing book about 100 foot waves, surfing, and the dangers that lurk in the ocean.  Check out The Wave, by Susan Casey, and be amazed. Who's ready for tow-in surfing?  Not me!
3. I used to love going to eat at Long John Silver's, a fast food restaurant - and name of a prominent character in Treasure Island.  Fond memories of childhood there, as I'd often go with my grandmother.  That's a thin tie to literature, but I just thought you should know this.
3. As an adult, I was captivated by seeing the original illustrations from this book, which were done by local art legend N.C. Wyeth.  They're prominently displayed at the Brandywine River Museum, a fantastic place to visit if you love the works of the Wyeth clan (as I do).
N.C. Wyeth. Culture, yo!

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