Style Guidelines: Our first Belgian style ale is a smooth and dangerous dark strong ale. Aromas of spicy yeast, including clove and allspice, and toasted malt, along with hints of concentrated dried figs make for a complex and warming ale. It's the perfect way to help get used to the long shadows and growing nights of Autumn. Drink enough, and you won't notice the bumps that go in the night, though you may make a few!
Rotation Schedule: First time brewed; rotation not set, though should be brew it again, mid-fall seems right.
Food Pairings: Barley's bucket of mussels with steak fries and mayo on the side; turkey nut burger with bleu cheeese. Try putting Abbey Normal in some lamb stew or braised short ribs and you'll have a pairing that'll make you sing not once, but twice. Excellent with pumpkin pie. This is surely an ale that would stand up nicely to a fine cigar.
Color: A Darker Side of Amber
Yeast: Belgian Abbey
Grain: British lager, pale and wheat, Belgian Munich and Special B
Bittering Hops: Northern Brewer
Finishing Hops: Czech Saaz and British Fuggle
Adjuncts: Belgian dark candi sugar
Original Gravity: 1.086
Estimated IBUs: 19.42
Alcohol By Volume: 8.6%
First Tapped: October 15, 2010
About the Ale: Trappist and Abbey Ales
There are seven Trappist breweries in the world, six of them in Belgium. A Trappist ale is a beer brewed by Trappist monks. No one else is entitled to use the term.
Orval is the oldest of these breweries, founded in the 11th century by Benedictine monks. (Bet you can't guess what else they make.)
Abbey ale is a term associated with beer brewed by non-monastic types, often under license.
Abbey ales can be thought of in two categories: ones legitimately associated with a monastic order and the ones that aren't.
In the late 90s, Trappist brewers banded together to legally force non-monastic brewers to call their similar ales "abbey-style ales." Their reason was that unflattering depictions of monks were being used on beer labels hurting monastic recruitment.
It seems to us that a far more significant reason for dwindling numbers would be their pious life-style, including the sacrifice of a certain, shall we say, personal habit.
In any case, no monks were injured during the brewing and fermentation process, and no monk is depicted on our graphic. Peace out.