Did Someone Say Brunch? Grab a Blanch de Chambly Mimosa!

October 4, 2010

One of my all time favorite meals is brunch. It is such a delicious combination of foods from all courses coming together in perfect harmony. Everything from eggs and pancakes to bacon, roast beef, shrimp, pastas, desserts and more make it onto the table. Beyond that, there is usually a wide selection of juices, coffees, cocktails, beers, spirits, and usually mimosas; the classic brunch drink of orange juice and champagne.

I do love champagne, but honestly the classic mimosa leaves something to be desired. It always ends up a bit to sharp, and unless you are using very expensive sparkling wine, a bit to tart. Ah ha, beer to the rescue. Here is one of my most favorite beer cocktails that people are always shocked, and then astounded by; the Blanch de Chambly Mimosa! It is smoother, creamier, has a soft vanilla and warm spice character to it, and just compliments orange juice better than champagne can. Read on for the directions, and I dare you to try it! Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the Unibroue Ephemere Cassis

August 26, 2010

One of my favorite brewing styles is Belgian. And one of the most beautiful things about Belgian brewing is that these days, you don’t need to be a Belgian to brew like one. Unibroue, located in Chambly Quebec, has been brewing Belgian Style beers since 1990. Unibroue prides themselves on using only the finest natural ingredients, absolutely no preservatives, only partially filtering and bottle conditioning the majority of their beers.

Among their lineup of unique and exciting beers is the Ephemere Cassis,  a wheat beer brewed with blackcurrant. Blackcurrant is a berry native to central and norther Europe, as well as Asia with a tart, mildly sweet deep raspberry like flavor. The Ephermere Cassis is really a thing of beauty. It is crisp and refreshing, sweet yet dry, and exceptionally quenching. It is a treat every time I open a bottle, and people are always stunned by its color and appearance – “I had no idea that beer could look like that!”

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Unibroue Likes My Maudite Meatballs!!

August 24, 2010

A few weeks ago I was in the mood to do some beer cooking (as usual) and whipped up a Spaghetti Squash with Veal Meatballs, Unibroue Maudite and San Marzano Tomato Sauce. I’ll tell you this much, it was delicious! So delicious in fact, than Uniboue has just posted it in the recipe section of their website! Thanks Unibroue! It should be no surprise by now that I love Unirboue’s beers, and the Maudite is for sure among my favorites. Next us I am going to find something spicy to make with the Fin du Monde!

Real Beer, with Stephen Rich: THE SHOW!

August 20, 2010

My love and passion for real beer… In video form.! Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the Unibroue Quatre-Centieme

August 17, 2010

Unibroue has many more beers than most of us are typically aware of. But the Quatre-Centieme is not considered one of their specialties, it is a lesser known classic that begs for some well deserved attention. Classic though does not mean a lack or heritage. This beer was created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Quebec City, a city which has welcomed a widely diverse range of immigrants since 1608.

So what you have here is a vintage Belgian-style strong golden ale crafted by arguably the best Belgian-style brewers in Canada. It comes in a classic Belgian 750ml corked bottle, is 7.5% and tells you very little about the beer itself. It was actually a bit of a mystery until I was able to read a bit about it on Uniboue’s website – but even before that I was excited. I have had a few of these commemoration beers from Unibroue before, and these guys know what they are doing. When they create a beer in honor of their heritage, they mean business. Plus, I consider them to be the best Belgian-style brewers in Canada. Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the Unibroue 15

August 9, 2010

For 4 years this beer has sat eagerly in my cellar. It was pushed to the back a long time ago, and had only seen the light of day a few days ago when I brought it forth, out of exile. Although I would hardly consider it exile, more like thoughtful maturation. It is the Unibroue 15, a Belgian-Style Tripel which Unibroue crafted to celebrate their 15th anniversary in 2006.

This beer was designed by one of the best brewers of Belgian style beers this side of Belgium, and beer after beer they always blow my mind. I have had a few of the anniversary Unibroue Vintages before, so I was very excited to try this one; it would be the oldest I have ever be able to enjoy. I didn’t really know how long I would save it for, and really, it probably would have enjoyed its rest for a few more years. But with my brother and some good friends over I decided that the time was right, and I would let this magical beer shine.   Read the rest of this entry »

Spaghetti Squash with Veal Meatballs, Unibroue’s Maudite and San Marzano Tomato Sauce

August 4, 2010

Not only is beer a wonderful pairing with food, but it can also be a wonderful ingredient to incorporate in your cooking. Real beer has a distinct range of flavors that few other beverages can match, and certain dishes simply call out to a certain flavor.

A spaghetti squash has been sitting in my pantry for a week or so now. I was getting sick of seeing it there, so I decided to finally cook it. If you have never had spaghetti squash before, it is exactly what it sounds like. After 40 minutes in the oven this squash’s flesh will fork into strands of spaghetti like vegetable noodles. Its a low carb, and light way to replace your pasta but still get the pasta sauce! It also gave me an idea for a new pasta sauce, one with San Marzano tomatoes and Unibroue’s Maudite! Read the rest of this entry »

Unibroue 17 is Recognized as the World’s Best Strong Dark Ale

July 29, 2010

The 2010 World Beer Awards handed out near 100 awards for best beers in various style categories defined by both the underlying beer style and region. But after all the judging was completed, the esteemed judging panel awarded 5 “World’s Best” awards to commemorate and celebrate the 5 best beers available to the world.

Unibroue’s 17 took home the Worlds Best Strong Dark Ale! The 17 is their anniversary beer. It is 10% abv, pours a deep amber with rich golden browns and copper reds. A lightly effervescent body brings a rich bouquet of complex malts showing roast, dark fruits, vanilla and spice with fresh aromatic hops. This is truly a remarkable beer and worthy of world wide recognition. Congratulations Unibroue!

The remaining 4 winners were: World’s Best Standard Pale Ale, Deschutes Red Chair NWPA; World’s Best Premium Lager, Primator Premium; World’s Best Strong Stout, Minoh Beer Imperial Stout; World’s Best Strong Wheat Beer, Weihenstaphan Vitus.

Quick Tastes of the Unibroue Maudite

July 15, 2010

The Unibroue Maudite gets me every time. I am always amazed by its flavors, and blown away by its masterful construction. The Maudite, which means The Damned, is a rich and spicy Belgian Abbey Style Dubbel Ale with warming caramel flavors and rich complexities of malt and hops. It is thankfully available at the LCBO in stunning 750ml corked bottles. And for just over $5, it could be the best value for beer in Ontario.

If you have the patience, I would recommended buying several extra Maudites to put away in your cellar and age. The rich, warming and spicy characters in the 8% Belgian-Style Ale will age and develop into a wondrous array of creme brulee and warm oak flavors in 4 to 5 years. This is really a magnificent beer. So much so, that since 1995 it has been awarded 11 gold, 6 silver, and 1 bronze medals in international beer competitions.

If you need a beer, wine, or any beverage to impress at a dinner party, I dare you to show up with a few corked bottles of the Maudite. Treat it like wine, and serve it in either a snifter or a red wine glass, and watch as peoples eyes and mouths open in amazement. Read the rest of this entry »

Unibroue Blonde de Chambly if Officially Released

July 15, 2010

Available now on Unibroue’s website is a full disclosure of their newest product, the Blonde de Chambly. This 5% golden ale is a Saison style beer shows Unibroue’s classic champagne like effervescent body, a lightly sweet, floral nose with hints of lemongrass and hops, and a clean and slightly acidic flavor with notes of honey, pepper and a brisk floral finish. This is yet another refreshing and thirst quenching offering from one of Canada’s greatest breweries.

Currently it is only available in Quebec, but farther Canadian distribution will hopefully pick up soon. On Unibroue’s site you can watch their master beer sommelier take you through the beer as well as the story of its legend.

Tasting the Unibroue Maudite

July 10, 2010

Unibroue is one of my favorite Breweries because of their beer’s unique characteristics and amazing drinkability. In another post on the Unibroue Chambly Noire we discussed in detail the distinct Quebecois beers that they produce, and also their Belgian inspired heritage. But really, I should have began with the Maudite, the very first beer that turned me on to Unibroue, and also one of the best that they brew, and one of the top beers in the world.

Maudite means “the dammed one”, and was named after the Quebec legend of the Flying Canoe. As the legend portrays, a group of lumberjacks struct a deal with the devil to fly them home in their canoes. Guided by Satan himself, they made it home in time for Christmas.

The Maudite of one of the beers which opened Unibroue in 1992, and is a Belgian Style Strong Dark Ale, very reminiscent of a wheat beer with very rich a fruity malt characteristics. Read the rest of this entry »

Session 2010 Debuts Tomorrow!

June 25, 2010

On Saturday June the 26th (tomorrow!) the inaugural Session Beer Festival will begin at the beautiful Sunnyside Pavilion in Toronto against the water – away from all the G20 garbage. Session 2010 is the end cap to an amazing Ontario Craft Beer Week filled with sensation beers, great food and lots of friends.

With any luck it will be hot and sunny tomorrow providing for an amazing festival. But even if it does rain, the 2,000 expect visitors will easily fit the the pavilion which has a 3,000 person capacity. So I’ll see you there! See below for a list of brewers and food exhibitors: Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the Unibroue Blonde de Chambly

June 7, 2010

It was an exciting moment for me at the 2010 Mondial de la Biere when I approached the Unibroue tent, and not just because of the beautiful hostesses clad in French corsets. But this was only the second day that Unibroue’s newest beer had been available – the Blonde de Chambly. After checking in, I made a b-line straight for Unibroue looking for this new creation.

The Blonde de Chambly is a Blonde Ale with Saison characteristics; really it is a typical Unibroue Blond. All of Unibroue’s beers share some similar characteristics. They all have a spicy yeast character to them which can play off as soft and subtle as in this case, or rich and potent as with the Maudite.

I handed over my tickets and in turn received a tall Mondial glass of a pale golden beer which would soon flood Quebec and hopefully Ontario. Read the rest of this entry »

A New Unibroue! The BLONDE de Chambly

June 2, 2010

Many people probably define Unibroue by one of their most recognizable beers, the Blanche de Chambly. But now to match the Blanche, Unibroue will release a new bottled beer at the Mondial de la Biere today! The Blonde de Chambly.

Right now its existence and creation is clouded with mystery; Unibroue’s website has not yet been updated with information on it, and its only appearance so far has been for a privileged beer club in Quebec. There is a video explaining the Blonde’s story… But it’s in French. So if you speak French, check it out and please fill us in!

So far as I understand the Blonde de Chambly was created to honor the women who were sent to New France by the King to marry the soldiers. It will be a 5% lager with more presence that the existing U Blonde.

17th Mondial de la Biere in Montreal!

June 1, 2010

I am extremely pleased and excited to be attending the 17th Annual Mondial de la Biere in Quebec as press, and all week I have been gearing up for it and salivating over the beer list.

Seriously, this could be the largest and most diverse beer festival in North America! The United states is flooded with beer festivals, and a few massive ones (The Great American Beer Festival last year had over 3,000 beers to sample). But really they tend to focus on American craft beer, and some imported beers. The Mondial however truly is a worldly festival featuring breweries from all across the globe.

The Festival is at the Windsor Station Courtyard in downtown Montreal from Wednesday June 2nd to Sunday the 6th. Below is a list of the beers which I am most looking forward to trying! I am not over ambitious.  Read the rest of this entry »