Our historical excuse for sampling a beer this week comes from March 17, 1916, which the governor of North Carolina declared Belgium Day (it sounds happy but was meant to spur donations after the devastation of World War I). Anyway, we're always suckers for a domestic Belgian imitation.
This variety was called Brother David's Triple, and is made by Anderson Valley Brewing Company of Boonville, Calif. The cap said the brewery is solar-powered, so feel free to factor that into your carbon footprint calculations when quaffing.
Curiously, even when poured violently, this beer has very little head, certainly not characteristic of a Belgian in our experience. But that didn't take away from the beer.
The aroma was just excellent, a wonderful, bright, flowery fruit smell. The alcohol (10 percent by volume) warmed the stomach immediately. It's certainly present in the flavor, but we rarely like our beers to hit the throat like liquor, and this one doesn't.
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The fruity aroma continued into the taste, with some interesting bitter/sour flavors seeping to the sides of the mouth. The carbonation seemed quite low -- this one is just such easy, smooth drinking. It will suck you in quickly. The finish isn't much different from the front-of-mouth taste, just smooth, smooth.
We are concerned we let it warm too quickly. The bottle suggests serving it between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit; past that the bitter/sour/boozy flavors started to linger.
All told this is a solid beer, certainly worth trying. We found it in a 22-ounce bottle at Central Market for $6.99.