After two months of tree planting I am once again in the position to post somewhat regular blog updates. Like many people, I have been watching as much of the FIFA World Cup as I possibly can, and along with my blood allegiance to England, I took a fancy to Belgium’s team this year. Alas neither team is still with us, but for one brief afternoon Belgium helped me to a wonderful level of intoxicated bliss. That’s right; during Belgium’s Round of 16 battle with the United States I decided to drink Belgian beer until they lost, or if they won, until it was no longer a good idea. At the beginning of the match I poured myself a Rochefort 8. This delicious beer is one of the finest ales on earth, brewed by Trappist monks and extremely complex. I really ought to write a post about Trappist ales sometime, but suffice it to say for now that every Trappist is worth tasting. As they say in Belgium, “a Trappist a day keeps the doctor away!”
I began the second half with a Cuvée des Trolls, from Brasserie Dubuisson. This strong blonde falls into the same category as Duvel, and is a fine example of the style. The game was not going exactly as planned though, because the American goalkeeper Tim Howard insisted on playing the game of his life. When Belgium did finally break the deadlock in extra time, I brought forth my second Rochefort of the game, the incomparable 10! This one is similar to the 8, except it is stronger in alcohol, flavour, and complexity. There are many tastes in the 10 just waiting to be discovered, including fruitcake, chocolate and dark rum. While I was busy with my third beer, the match became even more entertaining with a final score of Belgium 2, USA 1.
While the game was perhaps over, the day was not, and I promptly enjoyed a Liefman’s Cuvée Brut, which is an Oude Bruin that has had cherries added to it before being aged for up to three years and then blended with various vintages to create a dazzling rainbow of tastes. The fruit flavour is clearly evident, in a refreshingly tart way, and the Oude Bruin’s sweet and sour complexity makes this beer well worth trying. Later, while at a Canada Day BBQ, I drank two refreshing Stella Artois, capping off a wonderful afternoon of football and beer.
Unfortunately Belgium’s Quarterfinal clash with Argentina on Saturday began at 9am for me, and I was not feeling particularly inspired to begin drinking at breakfast. Perhaps I should have foregone my cup of tea in favour of a Jupiler, a Leffe and a Westmalle in order to propel Belgium to another victory. Alas I did not, and Belgium are no longer in this World Cup. I must now concentrate all my energy on drinking Grolsch in the hopes that the Netherlands can relinquish the title of “Greatest Footballing Nation to Never Win the World Cup.” Hup Hup Oranje!