Dates: 26th August – 1st September, 2013
Bottle shop: New World Newtown, Wellington
- Blond, by Le Trappe (4 x 330ml bottles, $11.99)
- Quadrupel, by Le Trappe (single 750ml bottle, $8.79)
I’m going to put this right on Front Street: I freaking luuurve Belgian-style beer. It’s so deliciously thick and unctuous. You gotta love the arrogance of a beer style which is so non-beer-like that it occasionally makes you wonder if you should be drinking it or chewing it.
I say Belgian-style since this week’s beers don’t hark from Belgium at all – they’re from across the border, in The Netherlands. According to a very reputable source (i.e. My Mate Who Went There Once Whose Name Is Definitely Not Chris), Le Trappe has the distinction of being the only Trappist brewery outside of Belgium.
(While I could confirm or deny this with a few clicks of my mouse and some Googly assistance, it’s much more fun to gamble with the reputation of others.)
I don’t know how many Trappist monks they employ at Le Trappe, but it must be a Honking Great Number – since I find it pretty damn extraordinary that I’m able to walk into more-or-less-any reputable supermarket (and even some not-at-all reputable ones) and come away with some delicious Trappist tipple.
At 10% booze, Quadrupel is definitely a Sharer – particularly considering there’s 750mls of it. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with taking a curmudgeonly approach to Quadrupel – but I think there’s a real sociability to splitting a big bottle of interesting (and boozy) stuff with a mate. Particularly since there’s a real Pay It Forward element to sharing beer – kind of like I’ll Scratch Your Liver If You Scratch Mine. In return for splitting my Quadrupel with Definitely Not Chris, I got a big stonking glass of the style-bending (and Freaking Delicious) beer/wine hybrid from Garage Project, Sauvin Noveau.
Quadrupel is Freaking Delicious too – another one of these amazing beers which manages to be 10% without tasting like kerosene. It’s like a malty, yeasty, meal-in-a-glass – but totally in a good way.
Blonde is one of these beers which make the world a better place. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the Awesomest Beer of All Time or anything – but it’s a moreish, damn-tasty solid performer with one very neat party trick: it’s Stupidly Cheap. I’ve never seen the four-pack for more than $11.99, and you can usually get single 330ml bottles for around 3 bucks.
Combined with the less-than-nine-bucks that Quadrupel will set you back, Le Trappe really is a Beer Budget’s Best Friend. It’s a wonderfully accessible alternative to the Lager / Pale Ale crowd, and I heartily recommend that you go and grab some.
My name is Jason Gurney and I endorse this message.