Monday, December 6, 2010

Dry Hopped Borman's Belgian Ale

Blue & Gray Brewery has made a special batch of their popular Borman's Belgian Ale. Jeff uses the term Belgian IPA to classify the beer. Intrigued, I stopped by the brewpub Friday evening to try out this special release.

From the Blue & Gray newsletter:
The brewers experimented with some Strisselspalt (a noble french hop) hops and added some whole leaf coned hops to 2 kegs of our Borman's Belgian farmhouse ale recipe for 10 days.

I asked one of the brewers to describe the beer and he said "think of that girl you dated that had a special aroma that you found yourself wanting more".  "OK",  I said, "I think I know what you're getting at (I didn't) but can you put it in terms our loyal brewery patrons are sure to understand?" Jimbo the brewer said "The aroma from this noble French hop is very mild and will remind you of a fresh field of hay from the Alsace area of France near Strasbourg."  I've never been to a hayfield in France, but I grew up around horses and hay, and that surely can't be what he wants to convey.  I gave up and decided to offer free samples in the brewery retail store during regularly scheduled brewery retail hours. For those who like hops and Belgian beers, think Belgian IPA.

The dry-hopped Borman checks in at around 9% ABV, but it's masked well. (At least until you've had a couple and a friendly bar patron buys you another round!) My first flavor impression of the beer was a mild black pepper spiciness, more than I recall from the regular Borman's. There's a lingering bitterness that I found enjoyable. A made a point of asking other patrons their impression of the beer. To a person, everyone liked it. Most people, myself included preferred this version over the standard Borman's Ale. I paired my beer with the Spicy Blue Buffalo Wings, which are prepared with the Belgian Ale.

I suggest you stop by the brewery during tasting hours, or the Lee's Retreat brewpub, and try the dry hopped Borman's Belgian Ale for yourself. And if you like it, let the folks there know so they will make some more!

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