In previous pieces we discussed whether or not there could be beer in heaven. Using laws of thermodynamics, and the dateless angst of the average physics major, we were able to show mathematically that conditions in heaven would indeed be perfect for beer. Conversely, we also showed that hell would not be ideal, whether or not it actually froze over-opening the floodgates for all those nerdy science majors to finally get the date of their dreams,-and that given the current state of religion in the world today hell is bound to become overcrowded quickly, and hence far too warm for beer to be served properly, let alone enjoyed. Breathe.
Setting aside the logistics of delivery in hell, what we failed to discuss, as I pop the cork off a tall green bottle of Saison Dupont, a true Belgian Farmhouse Ale, is precisely what kind of beer might we expect to find in heaven. Well, wait no longer. I am about to make my case, at least for the sort I might be predisposed to imbibing for eternity.
You’d pay as much or more for a casual bottle of wine the same size. 6.5%ABV, this Farmhouse Ale pours to the most incredible translucent gold in color with a ¾ inch snow-white head, and a dense and intricate lacing. The fragrance is of southwestern Belgium when the wind off the English Channel is just right, enlivening the rolling hills, farms and postcard villages. There’s something about the rich full-bodied and malty beers of Northern France and Southern Belgium I find myself all too often drawn to, which I might well find excuse to enjoy for eternity.
The good news is that in heaven, drink as much as you like! Now, where as I sort of like getting up from a raucous conversation, a philosophical muse, or longingly gazing into the eyes of a beautiful woman opposite to catch my breath and read a sports page hastily taped to the wall above a gentleman’s facility, in heaven there would be no such burden. And if there was, thank the heavens (pun intended) for those flowing white gowns! Though after a couple of beers those gowns might get a bit unwieldy in tight spaces, but then you’d have forever to get the movements down, right?
Nicely balanced, with hints of citrus and a beautifully understated carbonation, this is a gentle beer. It is a beer of opportunity, for good conversation, pondering or a hearty meal. On the patio we have a big Rosemary bush. I picked off a bit and sampled it with Saison Dupont and quickly thought of a recipe from Carole Cooper’s collection. http://www.simplynaturalgourmet.com/ I could almost see her whipping it up in the kitchen as the sun set among the pines along the Lake Superior shore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The room would fill with the scent of her Rosemary Chicken with roasted potatoes and onions. She and Geoff would be in competing conversations on entirely different though not unsympathetic themes. The growing evening breeze would thunder waves upon the shore across the road. That softening and cooling wind, like that Belgian sea breeze reminds me of Saison Dupont.
There is sediment in this beer, a golden-brown yeast suspended near the bottom of the glass. Something to hold up to the light and consider, a memory of the magical process of brewing, that is at once an ancient craft and a wonder of nature. That understanding must be heaven-sent, or maybe it’s Carole’s Rosemary Chicken. I know it is definitely this fine Belgian Ale, and if I could just hold onto a bit of all that, that would certainly be heaven.
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