Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Belgian Trappist Beer

My husband and I had the pleasure for visiting old friends in Belgium a few years ago. This is when we first tasted the incredibly rich and intoxicating beers brewed in a few of the Trappist monasteries there. Our friends served Chimay.

From our friends' home in Wavre, we took a long drive that included parts of Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, and France. We visited one of the monasteries and participated in another tasting.

But no matter how many times I might have been told the alcohol content of these beers, I never thought of them as being any different than any other brew...until the evening we spent in Dinant, a town between a rock and a wet place (the River Meuse). We checked into a quaint hotel, then headed out for dinner. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a pub. Our drink of choice that evening was the beer from the Rochefort Trappist Monastery.

When we returned to our hotel that evening, I made my usual entries in my travel journal and then collapsed on the bed, almost giving myself a concussion. The bed was as hard as a rock. I suspect the mattress was made of straw packed solid from years of supporting hefty tourists. It didn't matter. I was snoring in minutes.

The next morning, I pulled out my travel journal to make a few more notes, and found the last entry was illegible, the incoherent ramblings in written form from one more victim of ignorance and over-indulgence.

The beers from the Belgian Trappist Monasteries are delicious, and they're available at most wine shops and liquor stores. Just be careful. They really are more potent than your favorite micro-brew.

31 comments:

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Wow. I pretty much stay clear from alcoholic beverages of all sorts, but this is great to know in case I ever need something to knock out one of my characters in a hurry!

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - I didn't know that about those beers! Interesting.... And what a great choice for the letter "B." I am glad you had a wonderful trip to Belgium, too :-).

Grammy said...

Hey, Patricia, I enjoyed your posting today, as always, and thanks for visiting my blog so regularly and for your emotional support to me. When my husband and I were in Germany in 1988 visiting with our daughter and son-in-law in the US Air Force, we had supper with their German landlord and he served Schnapps after supper. My husband was a tee-totaller and would not touch alcohol of any kind, but I had the small drink, and found it quite interesting. Thank you. I'll bet you had a really great time. OOPS this is becoming an epistle. Bye. Ruby

Heidi Windmiller said...

What a great memory! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Jan Morrison said...

Oh, I like this story, Patricia! It is snowing here and my office is a big mess and I want a beer! A Belgian beer with bubbles.
Jan Morrison

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Very intresting Patricia, when I first saw the title I mistook beer for Bear, enjoyed the read and a very good B word.

Yvonne.

Karen Walker said...

Hilarious. I also mistook beer for bear.
Karen

Name: Luana Krause said...

Belgium! Wow, you're a world traveler! Great story.

Misha said...

Sounds like a very good drink. I actually have something like that in my story, even though I never thought to base it on real life.

:-D

TheyCallMeVarmit said...

Sounds yummy, but can pack a whollop. lol Nice "B" post....had me wanting one (and, this early!)

Melissa Bradley said...

I love micro brew and craft beers so I will have to check these out. I'll heed your warning as well. Awesome topic for B.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Sometimes I forget to count my blessings for having wireless at home...all week I'll be on dial-up and it takes about four times as long to move from one screen to another. I hope everyone will forgive me for a slow start. I promise to catch up with more visits and follows and comments starting April 9th.

Ann Best said...

Wow! I suspect you'll never forget this B. Don't think I will either.

Rebecca Bradley said...

I can't hold my alcohol so I will probably use this post as a warning of one to avoid!

Have a great A-Z month :)

Josie said...

I love a good beer, and totally enjoyed sampling a variety duringt the two years I spent in Germany in my mid-20s. I've never hearde of these though, and it's defiitely something I want to try. Thank you for the lovely travel tale!
~Josie Two Shoes~
Two Shoes In Texas 
Monday Memories
Write A Letter Wednesday
Words In Motion

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. don't think I've ever had a Belgian Trappist Beer ... and suspect like you I'd be in a heap .. but bet one is a good taster .. thanks for the little tour - fun .. cheers Hilary

Kay Theodoratus said...

Sounds like you're taking us on a travel tour. Thanks. I especially like to travel when it doesn't cost me any money.

nutschell said...

new follower here! That belgian beer sounds like the solution to my insomia. :)
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Oh my goodness! I liked the story...and the warning!

Patricia, I'm glad you joined the A-Z project :-)

Doris

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks for the warning!! Sounds pretty potent! :)

Niki said...

haha At least you got a good sleep :o)

Sherrie said...

Hi!
I don't drink alcoholic beverages so wouldn't know the difference. Sounds like some really potent stuff. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!

Sherrie
Just Books
http://sherriesbooks.blogspot.com/

ham1299 said...

LOL What a story. I guess alcohol content is something to pay attention to ... ;-)

Thanks for stopping by Ramblings & More and following me. I'm following you, too! :-)

Laura said...

Fantastic - I'm going to hunt some down for a tasting!
Lx

Marian Allen said...

Mmmm! I'll keep an eye out for Belgian Beer. If I find it, I'll be like, "Gimme some!" lol! Great post!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Stephen Tremp said...

A beer blog. Very cool! I like the Euro beers. And they do pack a bit more wallop than U.S. beers.

Holly Jahangiri said...

Sounds great! Your tale of unintelligible writing had me giggling almost as much as the image you created in my head of a Belgian Trappist BEAR. I see Karen's brain works like mine does... always nice to meet another kindred spirit!


Holly Jahangiri

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Patricia Stoltey said...

Beer and bears seem to be popular topics. I'll see if I can follow up with something equally confusing later on in the challenge.

Snakesmom said...

How funny! I bet you had to laugh when you looked at that journal entry. What a great "B" post! :)

Jeanne said...

Great story and since I have never been there, was very interesting for me. Your blog is beautiful. I especially like the hummingbirds in the background. I will be following you in the A-Z.

Bookblogger said...

Just stopped by as part of my a-z tour. I don't drink myself, but this sounds like great advice to use against some of my friends. lol.