How to explain belgians to a BMC drinker...

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JBmadtown

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I recently bottled a belgian table beer. That recipe used Wyeast high gravity trappist and so I brewed a tripel and pitched using the old yeast cake. My friends keep asking what I have brewing.

I find belgian beer so unique that I can't figure out how to describe it to them. Perhaps, some of you can help...
 

wcarter1227

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when i describe belgians i mention spicy yeast notes, peppery, fruity, bready. just some things that come to my mind
 

fineexampl

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Here's how you describe it. Offer them a glass of water with an old lemon peel in it. Then offer them a 3 course meal. Explain that the tasteless old lemon water is a BMC product and what you make actually has flavor and aroma.
 

vinyl_key

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I'd just say offer up a commercial example of the style for them to go try. Hard to explain the flavors if they've never had anything like it before. Tasting is the best explanation.
 

cclloyd

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I'd just say offer up a commercial example of the style for them to go try. Hard to explain the flavors if they've never had anything like it before. Tasting is the best explanation.
+1 on this - get a couple of examples of classic Belgian style beers or at the very least recommend them to your flavor challenged compadres for a reference point. I just brewed my first Tripel and when it's ready I intend to do a Belgian tasting with some commercial examples, my Tripel, and a Dubbel that will be made using the slurry from my Tripel. Expanding the palette of the BMC crowd is a chore - and often times just a waste of good beer.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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I NEVER "explain" a beer to a person unfamiliar. I just offer them a sample.

Trying to explain what a malt taste like is like trying to explain what Cardamom taste like, or what air smells like.

You just have to experience it yourself and draw your own conclusions.
 

j1laskey

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I was able to introduce Duvel to a BMC friend this weekend. His experimentation outside of BMC is Sam Adams...He considers all other beers "too chewy"....I gave him a Duvel...and he fell in love...he said he couldn't wait to pick up a six pack...then I informed him that they come in 4 packs not 6'ers and that a 4 pack is about 15 bucks....what a bummer
 

soldstatic

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I was able to introduce Duvel to a BMC friend this weekend. His experimentation outside of BMC is Sam Adams...He considers all other beers "too chewy"....I gave him a Duvel...and he fell in love...he said he couldn't wait to pick up a six pack...then I informed him that they come in 4 packs not 6'ers and that a 4 pack is about 15 bucks....what a bummer
It saddens me that this is a deal breaker for so many people (not your friend, my friends too). I'll spend 16 bucks on a bottle of gueze if I'm out on the town. Someone will ask to try it, I'll let them have a sip and they'll love it / hate it whatever. If they like it they find it on the menu, realize I paid 16 bucks for it, and never buy it.
 

j1laskey

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But it is nice to get a great bottle of something tastey and expensive...order your favorite pizza...and watching the boob tube
 

soldstatic

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My fiance's idea of a nice romantic night: steak dinner, grilled asparagus, bottle of wine

Mine: A priceless bottle of beer that can't be found in the states. (like Schladminger Pils which I'm currently craving, but have none of, and won't get till I go back to Austria this december)
 
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Wiki describes Belgians as "people originating from the Kingdom of Belgium and its historical predecessor states who share a common Belgian culture and Belgian descent. Belgian is not considered an ethnic group as Belgium is made up of two main linguistic and ethnic groups, the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons.

Most Belgians tend to view their culture as an integral part of European culture or Western culture; nevertheless, both main communities tend to make their thousands of individual and collective cultural choices mainly from within their own community." :p

Definitely offer up a taste. Only way to describe a belgian.
 

Erythro73

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How do you describe not being flavorless?

I like to bring to their attention the caramel-taste. I do think this is prominent in most trappist beers (not Orval, but Orval is different) : Rochefort, La Trappe, etc. Caramel is something everyone love, so they are more willing to taste.
 

soldstatic

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Wiki describes Belgians as "people originating from the Kingdom of Belgium and its historical predecessor states who share a common Belgian culture and Belgian descent. Belgian is not considered an ethnic group as Belgium is made up of two main linguistic and ethnic groups, the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons.

Most Belgians tend to view their culture as an integral part of European culture or Western culture; nevertheless, both main communities tend to make their thousands of individual and collective cultural choices mainly from within their own community." :p

Definitely offer up a taste. Only way to describe a belgian.
Hahaha that's pretty funny.

I've described french belgians as wanna be frenchies that are twice as self absorbed and snobby about their culture than the french are about theirs. And flemish belgians as less rambunctious germans. Course that may just fit the people i met when I was over there and certainly doesn't apply to everyone. But se la vie.
 

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i love many styles of beers, but belgians i just cannot do. I dont know what about it i dislike so much, but they are not for me :(
 

SumnerH

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How do you describe not being flavorless?

I like to bring to their attention the caramel-taste. I do think this is prominent in most trappist beers (not Orval, but Orval is different) : Rochefort, La Trappe, etc. Caramel is something everyone love, so they are more willing to taste.
IMO, the caramel note has nothing to do with whether a beer is Trappist or not. It's pretty common in Belgian strong darks, dubbels, and quads and pretty uncommon in Tripels, Belgian pales, witbiers, and most other Belgian styles, regardless of whether the brewery is Trappist or not. I wouldn't say that Westvleteren Blonde, Chimay Cinq Cents, Westmalle Extra, Orval, Achel Blonde, or La Trappe Witte have any predominant caramel notes.
 

Erythro73

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IMO, the caramel note has nothing to do with whether a beer is Trappist or not. It's pretty common in Belgian strong darks, dubbels, and quads and pretty uncommon in Tripels, Belgian pales, witbiers, and most other Belgian styles, regardless of whether the brewery is Trappist or not. I wouldn't say that Westvleteren Blonde, Chimay Cinq Cents, Westmalle Extra, Orval, Achel Blonde, or La Trappe Witte have any predominant caramel notes.
Yah, I'm sorry for the inaccuracies. Thanks for correcting me and I don't know why I wrote it like that. I guess I forgot many styles and had only belgian quadrupel/dubbel in mind.

But when I initiate newbies to these beers, I prefer to use trappist beers, in the lines of a quadrupel or a dubbel. Why? Well, they think a monk brewed the beer they are drinking (even though the majority of the 7 trappist breweries aren't operated by monks, nowadays), which add to the mysticism of the experience (which is a plus), and well, people always love caramel and these beers are full of caramel. The convert is easier this way, and it's by this way that I converted the father-in-law to the world of great beers! Everyone loves a good Rochefort 10!

I think Saisons or Tripels are more difficult to like, for BMC drinkers, than a belgian quad/dubbel. Easier converting. Because, well, the taste is caramel and very different.

And it's also this way a friend of mine introduced me to the world of craft beers. With a Rochefort 10.
 

MacGruber

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Just tell them it gets you F'd quickly. That's what they mostly care about. It's how I converted one of my good buddy from a BMC to an almost exclusive Tripel or IPA drinker.
 
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Unless the person is versed in beers I don't try to explain it to them, because if they're past their early twenties and haven't discovered craft beers, 90% of the time they either don't care or they will unknowingly use a quote from the movie Idiocracy, like "Ah, you talk like a f**, and your s***'s all retarded."

I find it easier to break it down into terms people will understand like "Enjoy that p***y beer with that salad, and I'll have a man's beer." It doesn't matter if you're not really stuck up or crass, it's just easier for most people to understand.

If a person really wants to get involved in trying different beers, they will seek it out themselves. Just drink something interesting in front of them and wait for them to ask. Give them a brief background and if they don't walk away confused, you've probably struck a chord.
 

ericd

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Just tell them it gets you F'd quickly. That's what they mostly care about. It's how I converted one of my good buddy from a BMC to an almost exclusive Tripel or IPA drinker.
This. Most people drink just to get drunk.
 

bradneal

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But it is nice to get a great bottle of something tastey and expensive...order your favorite pizza...and watching the boob tube
Ahhhhh, my very favorite beer on the planet!!

I just ordered a Carmelite Triple-Grain Tripel Partial Mash from Northern Brewer... Can't wait!
 

Erythro73

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What, may I ask, is a BMC drinker?
Some who only drinks Budweiser, Miller and/or Coors. So, the majority of people... In short, someone who doesn't drink craft brews. Or doesn't like them for whatever reasons.

(In Canada, you can substract Miller and add Molson/Labatt...).
 

bradneal

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Some who only drinks Budweiser, Miller and/or Coors. So, the majority of people... In short, someone who doesn't drink craft brews. Or doesn't like them for whatever reasons.

(In Canada, you can substract Miller and add Molson/Labatt...).
Thanks erythro. I figured it was something like that:mug:
 
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