Today is the second (and final) day of the 2017 Cheers to Belgian Beers festival at the North Warehouse. We went yesterday and while we only had 17 of the 70+ beers we're happy to share recommendations based on the things we drank.
We, along with a majority of the folks we compared notes with at the festival, easily put pFriem Abrikoos and Crux In the Pocket on the "don't leave the festival without having these" list. Abrikoos was new to us and is a fantastic Lambic-style beer that’s a very drinkable 5.5%. In the Pocket, a red wine barrel aged Saison with Brett and a beer we'd had recently (bottles of it are around town) is also very drinkable...but with nearly double the ABV at 9.9%.
Two others that hit high notes with us were Baerlic Black with Two Sugars and Migration Quinn and Juice. Coffee is our second favorite beverage and Baerlic's masterfully crafted beer drinks like a cold version of it, with a luxurious splash of heavy cream (although there isn't actually any in it) and a touch of sugar. The hook on the Migration beer for us is that on the rare occasions we drink hard liquor, gin is our go-to. This beer displays the aroma of those botanicals and is accompanied by a surprising mouthfeel to create a dangerously drinkable package weighing in at 9.2%.
We happened to be drinking with one of our friends who is supremely talented when it comes to blending beers. Yes, that may be blasphemy to some but if you're game we highly recommend blending, in a one-to-one ratio, Baerlic Black with Two Sugars and Migration Quinn and Juice. It doesn't sound like it would work but trust us here, it does.
The other blending might be a little more intuitive but it's the ratio that is important here. Start with Ex Novo Are You Afraid of the Dark?, a Saison fermented with boysenberries and black currants, and add just a splash of Gigantic The City Never Sleeps black Saison. Start with a small splash and add another if needed to get to that perfect black beer base that's complimented by the berry flavor of Afraid.
With that, get on with the drinking and cheers!
Cheers to Belgian Beers
North Warehouse, 723 N. Tillamook
Saturday, June 3 Noon - 8pm
$20 (glass + 8 tickets)