On Saturday, December 3rd, Jimmy’s No. 43 welcomed back the best of Belgium with our annual Battle of the Belgians. We love bringing in these classic style of beers (from any country making Belgian-style ales) during the colder months, and we’ll be featuring Belgian and Belgian-style beers through our annual Liquid Lent, which this year starts in the middle of NYC Beer Week!
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. On the Friday (December 2nd) before Battle of the Belgians, we had an esteemed group of judges (Paul Zocco of Zoks Homebrew, Certified Cicerone James Tai, Gregg Glaser of Yankee Brew News, Sam Barbieri of Waterfront Ale House, among others) gather together at the bar to taste close to two-dozen beers entered in this year’s event. Their winners—along with the People’s Choice—were announced both during Battle of the Belgians and on last week’s episode of Beer Sessions Radio™. The results of each category:
Hoppy Belgian Style:
1st Place – Humulus Terreux, The Bruery (CA)
2nd Place – Monsieur Shelton, De la Senne (Belgium)
3rd Place – XX, De Ranke (Belgium)
1st Place – Flemish Primitive Wild Ale, De Proefbrouwerij (Belgium)
2nd Place – Oude Gueuze, Tilquin (Belgium)
3rd Place – Sour in the Rye Terreux, The Bruery (CA)
Belgian Specialty Strong:
1st Place – Zwet.be – Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen (Belgium)
2nd Place – Blond Bier, Achel Trappist (Belgium)
3rd Place – Oerbier, De Dolle (Belgium)
One of the judges, Paul Zocco, summed up the winning entries thusly: “It’s very interesting that all three category winners were beers with some presence of funk; be it Brett, lactic or acetic notes.”
People’s choice votes were tabulated during the event and the winners announced accordingly:
Best Local NYC on Draft: LIC Beer Project’s Silent Vixen Bier de Garde (Queens, NYC)
Best Classic Sour: Cuvee des Jacobins’ Flemish Sour (Belgium)
Best Classic Triples: Two Belgians tied for this… De Dolle’s Dulle Teve 10 and the Achel Blond Bier
Hoppy Belgian Style: De Ranke’s XX (Belgium)
Belgian Specialty Strong: Another tie of three Belgians… Zwet.be by Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen, Triporteur Full Moon 12 and De Dolle’s Oerbier
And a special mention goes out to Jimmy’s favorite (and the beer he drank all day): Solemn Oath’s Punk Rock for Rich Kids, a Belgo pale ale from Naperville, IL (near Chicago).
If you missed out on this month’s event, you have a chance to make up for it as we will be doing a special Trappist-only version of Battle of the Belgians for Liquid Lent/NYC Beer Week on Saturday, February 25th. Find out more details and get your tickets here.