A long time ago, some monks in Belgium made some beer, basically so as not to die from drinking bad water. Today, a "Belgian beer" is considered by many as the epitome, if not the near perfection of beer styles.
"Belgians" come with some baggage as there is a strain of them that are most definitely sour to the taste. But as I grow into my skin as a "Beer Wench" I have had to let go of my own negative perceptions and prejudices about this style to understand that NOT ALL BELGIAN BEERS ARE SOUR.
I do accept this. As long as you accept that NOT ALL LAGERS ARE YELLOW AND BLAND.
There, now, we've cleared the air a bit...let's talk about a couple of beers we will be featuring at this year's Michigan Brewer's Guild Summer Beer Fest.
"The Belgians" (as interpreted through our Lager Revolution lens and described by Oliver Roberts, Chief of Fermentation around here):
The Voyageur Saison-Lager is another adventure for us in "Mixed Culture" brewing as we blended a Saison ale yeast with our House lager yeast at a very specific time in the fermentation to capture both unique profiles. The rich fruity, estery, appropriately phenolic and tart character of the Saison yeast and the crisp, cleanness of our lager yeast has produced a well-rounded and very interesting beer for the summer months.
We brewed this beer with Pilsner malt from the Franco-Belgian region and blend of other special character malts. Then used Saaz and Kent Golding hops to give a balancing, earthy bitterness and spicy hop flavor. The Voyageur was then spiced with Sweet Orange Peel and Grains of Paradise for added complexity.
Chrysalis Wit Lager
Our Wit Lager is back for the second year and was the jumping off point for our "Mixed Culture" beers that we brew. Our Wit Lager is made up of Pilsner malt, Raw White Wheat, and Oats. We use spicy noble hops for bittering and flavor then use Sweet Orange Peel and Coriander as a spice to add depth to this succulent session brew. We carefully blend the Belgian Wit yeast chosen and our House lager yeast during the primary fermentation to give the Chrysalis its tradtional Wit profile and smooth it out with our lager yeast. The Chrysalis Wit is the perfect warm weather beer to go with BBQ and to sip in the hot summer sun.