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Old 05-27-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
mdf191
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Apr 2007
State College Pa
Posts: 165


I am not from Belgium nor have i been, but I, like many of us, appreciate and have drank and brewed many a Belgian beer. I recently got into a debate with a very snobby egotistical food critic about quality Belgian beers. Here is the story for your amusement. Hope you enjoy.
I am a waiter at a fine dining restaurant, the chef and I have created a night in which we pair three interesting beers with three different tasting courses every week. Its a Byob...so the beer is just a taste and complimentary. I tell them as little or as much as they want to know about the beer, why it pairs, the style, or anything they want to learn.
On this faithful night we paired the third course: BBQ Baby back ribs with St. Bernardus Abt 12.
I was remarking to this critic who was in to try the tasting, how St. Bernardus Abt 12 is in my opinion one of the best Belgian Quads out there. He snickered, actually more laughed in my face, and said that since he has been to Belgium (are your picturing the snobby way this guy acts and talks?)...that Belgians themselves certainly don't regard it as a good beer. This surprised me, but I thought maybe he knows something I don't know, so I asked, "What do they consider the best of the style.. Westvelteren? Rochfort? Or was St Bernardus simply looked down upon due to being in the style of but not one of the official 6 Trappist breweries?
He...not knowing, had stumbled into the storm of knowledge we homebrewers have, and was quickly discovering he was not some dealing with a mere 25 year old weekend beer drinking waiter, ...looked at me and his wife with only a snobby blank grin....but had no response.
I feel I made those who appreciate our hobby and the beer gods proud! Oh, I also continued to expose his lack of knowledge on numerous other styles throughout the evening (while being nice of course, with a smile on my face), just to prove a point. Other points made in the night was the history and reason, and brewing style of Steam Beer (paired with the second course), beer additives in belgium, as compared with the german Reinheitsgebot, and the history or why IPA's are IPA's, which since that is one of the more well know beer tidbits...said to our snobby friend, "Surely then you know how India Pale Ales got the name then right?" He and his wife gave their normally snobby look and said of course!" "Well then maybe you should tell me, I said?" They looked at each other, didn't actually know the answer, and I quickly filled them in and walked away. Check Mate.
Never mess with a homebrewer! When beer styles are on the line!
Also don't get me wrong I am no beer snob. Normally I am excited when people share knowledge of beer, so we can get into more in depth conversations, and when people don't know but are interested I am happy to tell them what I know.....but this guy wasn't one of those people ..just a classic one upper, who got in a beer fact fight with the wrong guy...and lost.....badly.

Jerk or not, he did spark my interest what real Belgians think of their beers though. So my question to all you homebrewer's out there, who may have been to, or are, or know Belgium, what do they consider the best beers?

 
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:21 PM   #2
billvon
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Jan 2010
san diego, ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf191 View Post
Also don't get me wrong I am no beer snob......but this guy wasn't one of those people ..just a classic one upper, who got in a beer fact fight with the wrong guy...and lost.....badly.
I think that to see it as a fight in which the goal is to humiliate the other guy by exposing him to your superior knowledge, you pretty much have to be a (beer/wine/food) snob.

 
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
bovineblitz
 
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Mar 2010
Binghamton, NY
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Fantastic.

I love beating jackasses at their own games.

 
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:48 PM   #4
Boerderij_Kabouter
 
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Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billvon View Post
I think that to see it as a fight in which the goal is to humiliate the other guy by exposing him to your superior knowledge, you pretty much have to be a (beer/wine/food) snob.
I disagree. That guy opened the can; he just didn't know it was full of whoop as5. The only two ways of dealing with snobs is to let them think they are right, or to put them down with kind but firm facts and statements of knowledge. In this story, the entire night would have been a nightmare for the OP unless he did something early.

 
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:54 PM   #5
machinelf
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Sep 2009
Cairo, WV
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Nicely done, sir!

 
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:58 PM   #6
carnevoodoo
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May 2007
San Diego, CA
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I wouldn't say you beat a food snob, but rather a douche. I mean I know plenty of people who are food snobs and beer snobs, and they're perfectly nice people. This guy just sounds like an uninformed jerk.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:02 PM   #7
remilard
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Nov 2008
Kansas City
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Just as an FYI, the commonly known tidbits about the history of IPA are pretty much all wrong.

 
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:06 PM   #8
Mermaid
 
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Apr 2010
Bloomingdale, IL
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PWNED!!

I'm wondering if the "what Belgians think of their own beer" is similar to what Australians think of Fosters.
I remember chatting with a guy in my World of Warcraft guild whose wife is an Aussie (and they're planning a move there soon) who told me that Fosters "isn't just that popular" (respected) in Australia.
Maybe some breweries in Belgium are looked at the same way we view BMC here. I definitely am curious to learn this as well.

(an opposite phenomena can also be seen with French wine. Evidently you can get some very good wine in France for dirt cheap, and that Americans pay through the nose for wine that isn't as good as the stuff you can get on the cheap, in some local markets in France)

 
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:09 PM   #9
munche
 
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Mar 2010
Inland Empire, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post
Just as an FYI, the commonly known tidbits about the history of IPA are pretty much all wrong.
Ehh, hard to say. I've read the whole dissertation from that English blogger who posts about it a lot...blanking on the name right now, and he basically goes on the "I can't find any documentation of so and so making hoppier beers to take to India, so the story is wrong. And it looks like people made hoppier beers before that style was established" I mostly got from him that the style more likely evolved over time than was just one day invented by one dude, but that doesn't really make the traditional story "wrong".


To the OP, good job on exposing the douche.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:09 PM   #10
Edcculus
 
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Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
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Nice story! To be honest, I'm not sure exactly how a Belgian would class St. Bernardus Abt 12, but its one of my personal favorites.

 
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