Aside from Castro’s, the LCBO and a good handful of Quebec convenience stores and grocery markets, the Bier Markt is another great place to try new beers. I owe the Bier Markt for getting to know; Kwak, Cochonette, Leffe (which I knew of but never tried until last year –believe it or not) and of course, this week’s review… Grimbergen Double.
On St-Valentine’s Day, I had a great evening planned. My beergonette and I were heading to a pottery studio to finish up some pieces we had started the previous week. Okay, I can hear the laughs all the way across cyber space… “He’s into pottery”. Well laugh all you want, but I scored big that night, even if the pottery thing didn’t happen –it was the thought that counted. The studio is located up in Vaughn and after a full day of work and traffic from the heavy snow fall, the chances of us showing up on time to complete our pieces was becoming a problem. So, we cancelled our reservation at an Italian restaurant across from the studio and opted to get off the Don Valley Parkway and try the Bier Markt instead. Scored, they had a table for us and we love this place.
I ordered the pork chop from the Monk’s menu… anyone who masters the art of cooking a 1.5” thick pork chop without it being dry has got my vote; tasty, juicy and flavorful. That’s the Bier Markt for you, although they are growing to be a small chain, they have the right of mind not to turn it into a cheap cookie cutter type restaurant chain. I wish them well.
Grimbergen refers to the municipality in one of the three regions of Belgium. The beer holds its name after this municipality for it is there that the beer was first brewed in 1128 and labeled abbey because it was brewed at the abbey that housed many Norbetines and visitors in need of a good night rest. The historic aspect of this beer sure is impressive and the fact that this recipe was handed down centuries after centuries is what makes these types of beers so wonderful. When you think about it, what else can we appreciate from almost a millennium ago without paying a ridiculous price for?
LOOK: This beer was poured for me in a chalice. It has a great dark brown color with a generous clumpy tan head that left behind great lacing legs.
SMELL: Its smell is that of candy, dried fruits like figs, prunes and raisins. It is quite malty and gives away a hint of alcohol.
TASTE: Grimbergen tastes good. It has just the right amount of bitterness and tart that are well complimented with sweetness. The yeast and alcohol don’t come out as much as I would have expected following its smell and that’s a good thing.
FINISH: The finish is dry with more of a spice presence.
BODY: Full body with right amount of carbonation.
CONTEXT: It’s worthy of an Abbey appellation but as far as beer that guerilla market their position as a “trappist” it is slightly too commercial for it. What I mean by that is that it’s a little too much of a session beer for an abbey. It makes for a good stepping stone to Belgians if someone wants to explore the spectrum of such delights.
Pairing: Pairs well with cheeses, raclette, meats and chocolate.
Price: too confirm
Availability: All the time.
Beer type: Abbey Dubbel
Brewery: Brouwerij Alken-Maes
Country / Region: Belgium