it’s mister beer! duvel tripel hop.. is it worth all the hullabaloo?

You know that feeling when you bite into or drink something so good your face is inexorably plastered with some goof-ball expression of pleasure?  You’ll see this often in commercials for soup or yogurt.  Someone spoons in a bite, the camera pans in, and the expression on their face is as if Saint Peter just handed them their personal pass to heaven. 

Of course, we’re talking television here, and everyone knows commercials are 30 second sound bites of pontification and exaggeration.  Still, very occasionally,  you’ll try something and find yourself inadvertently taken by one of those uncontrollable moments of bliss.  I’m talking about trying Duvel Tripel Hop. 

Many beer drinkers are already familiar with the name Duvel, as it’s one of the most popular Belgian beers, both in America and throughout Europe. Regular Duvel is a treat unto itself, around 9 % ABV, with champagne-like carbonation, sweet and tart fruit flavors, and a superbly crisp finish.  The Tripel Hop doesn’t stray too far from this template, though there are a few notable differences.  While regular Duvel is a Belgian golden beer, the Tripel Hop is classified as a Belgian IPA.  IPAs, as we’ve learned, are known for their hops, which tend to imbue beer with bitterness and tartness.  In this case, the term “tripel” primarily references the three distinct varieties of hops that were used to brew this beer.  On a secondary level, tripel also references the strength of the beer itself.  Often times, Belgian brewers will classify their beers according to the strength of their ABV.  Ales that fall between 7 – 9 % ABV tend to be called “Dubbels”, while those exceeding 9 % are called “Tripels”.  Since this beer has three types of hops AND clocks in at 9.5 % ABV, it’s a Tripel Hop!  Pretty clever, no? 

Let’s get to the beer itself.  The beer pours a beautiful hazy golden color, with a large foamy white head that diminishes fairly slowly into lacing.  You should notice a stream of carbonation bubbles rising continuously from the bottom to the top of the glass.  Breathe in sweet aromas of yeast and fruits like banana, pear, apple, and lemon.  There’s also a tinge of spice that mingles with floral, hoppy notes.  Take your first sip and right away you’ll be hit with sweet flavors comparable to the aromas, with the notable exception that you’ll detect strong undercurrents of earthy, tangy hops.  This beer is bittersweet in the best possible way.  The mouthfeel is delightful as well, reminiscent of champagne, or even a great cream soda.  Its finish is crisp and smooth, with a sweetness that gives way to tart hoppy flavors that linger on the palate. 

Overall, this is an exemplary Belgian IPAs by one of Europe’s best breweries, and well worth its price tag.  A perfect beer for sharing with a friend or date, come down to the Little Pub and try one while we gots ‘em!

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die bierfrau! on delirium tremens (the beer and the condition)

Have you already forgotten why you swore Sunday morning that you’d never drink again. Hankering for a reminder?

Helllloooo Delirium Tremens. If ever there’s a beer to sneak up and snatch your equilibrium out from under you, this is the one. This Belgian Strong Pale Ale weighs in at 8.5% abv and is brewed by Brouwerij Huyghe. (Bierfrau imagines this pronunciation as “huge” because that’s the kind of impression it leaves). It is a golden beer that pours with a light, foamy head and fruity, hoppy fragrance. Bubbly and sweet in the mouth, it ends with a tart spice flavor. Overall, highly drinkable!

                But now, onto the fun stuff that is more apt to distract and entertain the Bierfrau: etymology and elephants! Romans called it a “shaking frenzy”, cheerleaders call it “jazz hands”, abbreviators “the DTs”. The name Delirium Tremens refers to the stage of withdrawal following a night of heavy drinking.

Ah, but did you take note of the beautiful label pasted onto that ceramic bottle? Say, what are all those elephants doing on there, and why are they pink? American author Jack London was supposedly the first to coin the phrase in his autobiographical work John Barleycorn.. He is, “[a] man whom we all know, … who sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, blue mice and pink elephants”. But perhaps you know the imagery best from something a bit more child-friendly.

The year was 1941 when Dumbo and his mouse friend Timothy drank from an alcohol-laced water source. What ensued was Disney’s euphemism for intoxication. Cue an incredibly disturbing song featuring hoards of pink elephants blown out of one giant bubble originating in Dumbo’s trunk. Did this scare the Bierfrau off of drinking when she was a mere Bierfraulein? Nein. It just made her hate clowns all the more for spiking the water trough.

Happily, all that remains of the pink elephants now are the ones dancing on the nifty etched Delirium glass and label. There is even an elephant carved into the base of the glass to keep bubbles dancing up from the bottom the entire time! So try a 22oz Delirium bomber the next time you’re in, but make sure your ride home is your friend’s car and not some imaginary fluorescent pachyderm.

Addendum: In doing her research, Bierfrau was interested to learn that there are rare pink elephants in nature, as albino elephants can sometimes be pink. 

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walk/bike to little pub? maybe we should set up a bike rack.

bike-parking-little-pubwe came across this story  in the wilton patch about efforts to create a 27 mile long walking/biking trail stretching from norwalk to danbury with little pub smack dab on the path. now, we’re all for anything  that encourages  people to walk or ride bikes, but given the size of our parking lot, anything that encourages  people to walk or ride bikes  to little pub is music to our ears!

http://wilton.patch.com/articles/five-towns-one-vision-norwalk-valley-trail-nears-fruition?ncid=M255

http://www.nrvt-trail.com/

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it’s mister beer! raspberry ufo spotted in ridgefield

 

mister-beer-little-pubUp next on tap, Harpoon Raspberry UFO!  The UFO is a wheat beer, a hefeweizen, so right off the bat you can expect something crisp, sweet, and fruity (raspberries, duh!).  You’re probably curious why this beer has “UFO” in its title.  Well, this beer was brewed to commemorate the fifth season of X-Files…just kidding, UFO stands for “UnFiltered Offering”.  An unfiltered beer is simply one in which the brewer has decided to keep the remnants of the hops, malts, and yeasts used in brewing the beer, like how lemonade and orange juice inherently has pulp. In fact, being “unfiltered” is another characteristic of true hefeweizens. 

harpoon_raspberry_ufo_little_pub

Anyhoo, let’s get to the beer!  This beer pours a beautiful light golden-rose color.  The rose color derives from, you guessed it, the raspberry flavor added to the beer during the brewing process.  The beer’s aroma (man, stop me if I’m getting repetitive): raspberries.  There’s a hint of malt backbone in there too, but this is pretty much all raspberry.  The flavors?  Raspberry!  Wheat!  Well really, that’s an over-simplification.  The beer does taste strongly of raspberry, but you might pick up on subtle flavors of lemon and grass as a result of the beer’s wheat character.  According to the hefeweizen style, this beer has a very light mouthfeel, with nice carbonation, smooth crispness, and a sweet, dry finish.  Overall, the UFO is one of the best summer beers out there.  Served chilled, it’s the perfect counterpoint to a hot, hazy, humid day.  Sweet, crisp, refreshing, only 5.1 % ABV, this beer will sell fast, so come get it while it lasts!

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it’s mister beer! getting sour with the rodenbach’s.

Pretty much anyone who’s been to the Pub knows we like our Belgian beers. Our bottled beer list confirms this, and its well known that Palm Belgian Amber on tap is probably our best selling beer.  So for our next offering, we decided to stick to our guns and bring in Rodenbach Red, a Belgian sour beer. 

Now, before everyone jumps at the word “sour” (what, is the beer skunked?! Beer’s supposed to be crisp, refreshing!) I want to lay this on the line: this is one of my all-time favorite beers.  It’s fantastically unique, incredibly drinkable, and extremely refreshing.  And yeah, it IS sour, and it IS great.  Here’s some facts to appease the beer-curious.  Sour beers are made with unique blends of yeast and bacteria, and are generally heavily aged, often for three years or more.  In Rodenbach’s case, they’ve been using the same yeasts for around 160 years! Rodenbach is actually a blend of 75 % “young” ale and 25 % “old” ale.  The old ale in this case has been aged and heavily fermented for over three years, and is what lends Rodenbach its signature flavors.  The young ale is simply less fermented beer, added to cut the strong nature of the old ale.  Sour ales are generally known for two things.  You can probably guess the first: being sour! The second: strong fruit characteristics.  In Rodenbach’s case, we’re talking apples.  Let’s get down to the beer.  Rodenbach pours a dark, reddish brown, with a light brown head that diminishes quickly.  Its aromas are strong and tart, and you’ll detect hints of cherry, caramel, and apple cider.  Take one sip, and here comes the sour!  This beer is tangy and crisp, and right away you’ll notice flavors of apple, fig, and a very slight hint of balsamic vinegar.  The beer ends as it started, sweet and sour, with lingering caramel flavors and a nice dry finish.  Folks, this really is a great and truly unique beer.  There are other sour beers besides Rodenbach, but Rodenbach is widely regarded as the flagship sour ale.  So even if you think this beer isn’t your style, please do yourself a favor: take a leap of faith and try it, at the least it is an unforgettable beer, and at best, you’ll have found a new addition to your favorite beers.

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das bierfrau on schneider-weisse, hangovers, and random singing.

armed with dual degrees in philosophy and germanic language, and not only possessing, but willing to wear a dirndl, das beefrau is a triple threat well positioned to philosophize about beer and other related things (like pretzels, sausages, schnitzel, and the schism between descartes and kant that still rocks the world of philosophy to this day), and the correct use of umlauts.

Guten Tag and Wilkommen to the Bierfrau’s inaugural column! Here you will find descriptions, reviews and fun facts about the beer and beer kultur at Little Pub (or, die kleine Kneipe). Occasionally, the column will highlight other wunders to be found at the Pub too, because the Bierfrau cannot subsist on beer alone – although, she has tried! So raise your glass and Prost! to what promises to be both informative and irreverently irrelevant.

A natural place for the Bierfrau to begin is Germany. The featured beer of today is Schneider-Weisse’s Original Hefeweizen. A classic Bavarian German wheat beer (Hefe meaning “yeast” and weizen, “wheat”), this beer has not changed a drop since its original inception in 1872. Wheat beers are unfiltered, meaning that the yeast is left in the beer after the batch is brewed. The result is a clouder, more flavorful beer. Unfiltered beers also retain their vitamins, specifically vitamin B, a key compontent in decreasing the severity of a hangover. (If you plan to do a lot of unfiltered beer drinking, take a vitamin B with water before you go to bed and thank the Bierfrau later!) The yeast rests at the bottom of the bottle and the beer must be poured completely vertically into a specifically designed glass. This way, the yeast hits the bottom of the glass and breaks up upon impact. This Schneider-Weisse is perfectly potent at 5.4% abv and is enjoyed best with hearty food, essentially the only kind offered in southern Germany. This would pair best with our burgers, steak or even the reuben and rachel. Even if you’re not eating though, it is worth ordering just to see the bartender or server slave over the perfekt pour.

Our trivial trivia for the day is on the importance of song when making (or enjoying) beer. A phrase from the Middle Ages states, “when brewing, one must sing. Only then the beer gets done.” Often, singing was encouraged to ensure that the apprentices stayed awaked and vivacious in the brew house. The same holds true today, as you will frequently hear both Devin and Dave singing by the service station. In this way, they raise spirits among the crew as patrons simultaneously raise their spirits in pure enjoyment.

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it’s mister beer! widmer x-114 rotator

dave’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of beers and ales, so not only did we ask him to make a weekly pick for little pub, we are giving him his own mister beer column to discuss what he picked and why.

Up next on our glorious rotating tap of enchantment and mystery: Widmer X-114 IPA.  The name sounds like something out of a Terminator movie ( “Watch out John! It’s the X – 114!” ), but nevermind that.  The X- 114 is actually the first beer in a series of “experimental IPAs” by Widmer brewery in Oregon, and I’d say they did a pretty good job right off the bat.  The X -114 is a typical West Coast IPA, characterized by strong flavors of fruit and citrus resulting directly from the unique strands of hops found only in places like the Pacific Northwest.  In fact, X – 114 is the name of one of the major hops used to make this beer.  The beer pours a deep, clear golden color.  Breath in strong citrus aromas, with faint hints of tropical fruit.  As you sip the beer, you should be struck right away by bittersweet flavors.  You’ll taste grapefruit and lemon, hints of pine, with an underlying malty sweetness.  The beer is nicely carbonated, with a relatively light and very crisp mouth-feel.  Tangy bitterness will linger after you’ve finished your first gulp, a result of the large amount of hops used to make this beer.  Overall, Widmer did a pretty good job on this, despite the fact that it’s not a year-round offering.  It’s not too strong, only 6.2 % ABV, and it’s a great, refreshing beer to help stave off the impending heat and humidity of June.  If you’re not too familiar with IPAs, this is a great place to start.  Come get it while it lasts!

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it’s mister beer! weyerbacher simcoe

dave’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of beers and ales, so not only did we ask him to make a weekly pick for little pub, we are giving him his own mister beer column* to discuss what he picked and why.

I’m sure the question looming in our loyal reader’s minds is, “Why did Dave go Weyerbacher Simcoe?”.  Let me drop some knowledge: because the Simcoe is an exemplary Double IPA.  Google search “best double IPAs” and click the first link to Beer Advocate if you feel like a fact check, I dare ya.  Double IPAs are, at a basic level, pale ales with a lot of extra hops.  Doubles are also inherently stronger, clocking in between 8 and 10 % ABV versus the usual pale ale’s 5 to 6.5 %.  The Simcoe doesn’t disappoint, clocking in at a solid 9 %.  Many IPAs are brewed with several varieties of hops, but in this case, Weyerbacher opted to use only one kind of hop.  Can you guess the name of the hop variety? (Hint, rhymes with “plimcoe”).  Alright, enough being bookish, let’s get down to business.  The beer pours a hazy, deep amber, with a frothy off-color head and strong aromas of fruit, pine, and citrus.  As you sip the beer, the fruit and citrus become readily apparent, and you may pick up on flavors reminiscent of grapefruit, pinneapple, and mango.  There is a hint of malt sweetness in the background as well, added to balance out the strong flavors of the hops.  This is a well carbonated and relatively light-bodied beer, especially given its high ABV, and it finishes dry and bitter, with lingering sweetness from those ubiquitous Simcoe hops.  If I had to sum up this beer with one word, it’d be “balance”.  Never overly sweet, never overly bitter, with a subtle complexity, the Weyerbacher Simcoe is one beer you don’t want to miss.

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the honorable kelly kaye’s beer skööl may 2011

so many beers, so many questions, so the honorable kelly kaye pulled this list together for all the staples in the cooler.  read all about it!

the honorable kelly kaye’s

beer  skööl may 2011

 

the basics.

 

domestic craft beer

 

Rogue Dead Guy

Style: German Maibock

Origin: Newport, OR

ABV: 6.5%

Description: Rich flavor and a malty aroma

 

Stone Arrogant Bastard

Style: American Strong Ale

Origin: Escondido, CA

ABV: 7.2%

Description: Initial impression of hops and citrus with an increasing bitter malt flavor.

 

Berkshire Steel Rail Pale Ale

Style: Extra Pale Ale

Origin: Deerfield MA

ABV: 5.3%

Description: Medium bodied with a strong hop aroma.

 

Berkshire Lost Sailor IPA

Style: India Pale Ale

Origin: Deerfield, MA

ABV: 5.5%

Description: A blend of drop hops and malt.

 

Brooklyn Lager

Style: American Amber Lager

Origin: Brooklyn, NY

ABV: 5.2%

Description: Malty and bitter with hints of floral hoppiness. Expresses caramel malts in the finish.

Dale’s Pale Ale

Style: Pale Ale

Origin: Oscar Blues Brewery, Colorado

ABV: 6.5%

Description: Strong hop flavor from start to finish.

Dogfish 60 Minute IPA

Style: India Pale Ale

Origin: Lewes, DE

ABV: 6.0%

Description: Citrusy and hoppy.

Dogfish 90 Minute IPA

Style: India Pale Ale

Origin: Lewes, DE

ABV: 9.0%

Description: A strong malt undertone layered with hops.

Ommegang Dubble Abbey Ale

Style: Belgian Abbey Ale

Origin: Cooperstown, NY

ABV: 8.5%

Description: Flavors of honey, toffee, clove, licorice, chocolate, and dark dried fruit.

IMPORTS

 Hitachino Nest

Style: Witbier

Origin: Japan

ABV: 5.0%

Description: Orange and lemon citrus flavors, with a strong smell of wheat and a quick, carbonated finish.

 Leffe Blonde

Style: Belgian Abbey Ale

Origin: Belgium

ABV: 6.6%

Description: Dry, fruity, lightly spiced and slightly bitter.

 

Schneider-Weisse Hefeweizen

Style: Wheat beer

Origin: Germany

ABV: 5.4%

Description: Fruity with hints of nutmeg, clove and apple with a light bitter and sour finish.

 

Hopfen-Weisse

Style: Weizen Bock

Origin: Germany

ABV: 8.2%

Description: A collaboration between Brooklyn Brewing and G. Schneider and Sohn. Naturally, a hoppy wheat beer.

 

St. Peter’s Organic English Ale

Style:  English Pale Ale

Origin: UK

ABV: 4.5%

Description: Hop aroma with sweet malty and citrus flavors.

 

 

Delirium Tremens

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Origin: Belgium

ABV: 8.5%

Description: Spicy and fruity with notes of pears, apples, cinnamon and nutmeg.

 

 

CIDERS

 

Magner’s

Style: Hard Cider

Origin: Ireland

ABV: 4.3%

Description: A sweet apple flavor, popularly served over ice.

 

Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider

Style: Hard Cider

Origin: UK

ABV: 5.0%

Description: The drier of the two ciders we offer. Less sweet, but still naturally apple-y flavored.

 GLUTEN FREE

 

Bards Tale

Style: Fruit/Veggie Beer

Origin: NY

ABV: 4.6%

Description: Brewed with malted sorghum, the world’s first gluten free beer (ie, no barley, wheat, rye or oats involved) has a strong molasses flavor with a bitter finish.

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friday specials at little pub

 

specials for friday may 20th
 
maryland crab cake sliders
two jumbo lump crab cakes served with lettuce, tomato, raw onions
and our house remoulade sauce. served with your choice of fries $ 
blackened chicken quesadilla
grilled blackened chicken breast with melted cheddar-jack cheese, caramelized onions and diced tomatoes in a grilled flour tortilla with a side of steakhouse mayo  
carnitas
fork-shredded pork, crisp cabbage, pico de gallo, queso fresco,
 guacamole, and cilantro-lime sour cream in soft flour tortillas  
~wine picks~
 
marques de luz, navarra spain 2006
a merlot and cabernet sauvignon blend aged 18 months in french oak barrels. cherry
in color with complex aromas of red fruit, caramel and new wood.  
clos de los siete, mendoza ar 2008
a ruby-red malbec blend with plum, dark raspberry, mocha, spice cake and tobacco
on the complex nose. substantial tannins and good length 
beast sphinx semillon, columbia valley 2009
a limited edition semillon blend from buty vineyards in walla walla washington
(buty and the beast!).  sphinx is rich in texture and boasts a clean fruit palate
and nose with real length which opens over a meal.  
~mystery tap~
sam adams east-west kolsch
the latest seasonal from sam adams. bright and fresh with a subtle lemon and grassy
hop note, it’s been aged on a bed of jasmine sambac, a fragrant night blooming
flower from southeast asia, to create a delicate floral aroma and flavor.  
~bottled beer picks~
 
hoppy daze
from san diego’s coronado brewing, hoppy daze is an unfiltered belgian ipa
that will leave you slightly dazed and confused with a hoppy grin on your face. 22oz  
little sumpin’ sumpin’ ipa
this sneaky smooth and silky ipa from lagunitas is made with hops, malt,
hops, hops, yeast, hops, water, and hops, and a little sumpin’ sumpin’
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