Rochester has just tapped our brand new Belgian Dark Strong Ale. This heady brew features notes of fig and plum in both flavor and aroma. Its pleasant malty sweetness balances with hints of spice courtesy of the Belgian yeast.
The brewing world hotly debates how to categorize this beer. Some argue it is a “quad” while others insist that “quadrupel” is a misnomer only recently introduced into the craft brewing nomenclature. There is no question, however, that this delicious malty brew has been called simply “dark strong ale” for centuries.
The brewing traditions of Belgium and The Netherlands are deeply intertwined. Both have produced versions of dark beers made with wild Belgian yeast strains. However, the dark strong ales we are familiar with didn’t emerge until Belgium seceded from Holland in 1830. That’s approximately when formerly shuttered monasteries reemerged, and with them, the now-famous Belgian brewing style. Chimay began adding coin to the monastery coffers by selling its beer to the general public in 1862, and the rich dark ale it sells today remains relatively unchanged. Rochester’s own Belgian Strong Dark Ale is a fitting tribute to this historic beer style and is a perfect beer to sip with friends on a chilly evening.