But there’s another classification of knife-and-forkers out there that we often overlook: the Belgian Ale. And right now, we’re pouring a very popular one on draught until its keg run dry.
Deschutes Brewery‘s Stoic isn’t, technically, a Belgian Ale—it’s an experimental Belgian-style ale first brewed five years ago in nearby Bend, and it’s been evolving ever since.
Coppery in color, subtle hoppy and undoubtedly complex—you’re tasting pilsner malts, Belgian candy sugars and traces of pomegranate and molasses—the Stoic’s unusual flavor profile is exponentially compounded because of how it’s stored.
Instead resting in vats of stainless steel, the Stoic gets to stretch out its legs in aged barrels that once held pinot noir and whiskey.
Tangy, fruity and sweet, this ale is for the intrepid and the adventurous—it has an ABV content of 11 percent—so much so that it would be irresponsible of us to serve it in anything other than a brandy snifter. Plus, the snifter’s shape is the preferred receptacle for such a draft. You know, so it can breathe a little, like a fine wine.
And while it may seem formidable, it is, in fact, a wonderful beer to pair with white meats, like our fit-for-a-Viking-yet-tender-enough-fur-for-his-Queen Braised Pork Shank, or our Crab-Stuffed Trout, both of have flavors that mingle smoothly with the Stoic’s tangy taste.
So, skip the wine every once in a while. Who needs it when you can have beer?