Tuesday, December 22, 2009

DeuS at The Publick House

If you read my post on Cava a while back, you know how crazy I am for bubbly. Last night, after the fabulous Arneis Ensemble Concert, we headed over to Brookline's famous Publick House to raise a celebratory glass together. Our friends visiting from Chicago, Kristin and Grant, as it turns out are huge Belgian beer fans, so I wanted to take them to a place that specializes in none other, and hopefully have something that might be new to them.

We walked into the Publick House in Brookline around 8:30 to find a bustling dining room and crowded bar. I was happy to see them so busy on a Monday night. I figured they would be a little slower with so many people out of town for the holidays, but that was certainly not the case. We waited for a table for about half an hour, but that gave me a chance to enjoy one of the many beers that they have on draft. I asked the bartender for something light, dry, and easy on the hops and he gave me a Duvel Green Draught. It was spectacular! It had the same classic nose that I love, but it was lighter and smoother than their flagship beer if that's possible. From some Internet research, I discovered that it is only fermented once, so the alcohol was a little lower - perfect way to start the meal.

We eventually were led to a table and ordered our dinner. We shared some fries with their delicious garlic aioli, and I had a hearty feast of Stoemp Saucisse, a Belgian bistro classic of sausage, mashed potatoes, and gravy. The concert of thick Romantic music was making me crave a stick-to-yer-ribs meal. To go along with our repast, I chose a bottle of DeuS, Brut des Flandres. It comes in a 750 ml bottle, so one was more than enough for us to enjoy among the five dining companions present.

DeuS is perhaps the most wine-like beer I've ever had. I love Belgian beers because they have so much similarity to wine, but most of them remain beer in my mind. If I were blind-tasting this, I might think I was drinking something made from grapes... it was a real conundrum. It starts its life as a beer in Belgium and is shipped off to France to go through a period of remuage in the famous chalk caves of Champagne. My guess is that ambient yeasts in the caves take a strong role influencing the character of the beer because I smelled some interesting spicy floral notes that reminded me of well-aged Champagne. The higher alcohol gave it the weight it needed to stand up to the rich food we were eating even though the flavor profile was a bit more ephemeral. It was a great beer that I will definitely seek out again on my next trip to the pub.

After all of the meat and potatoes I ate, I didn't have any room for dessert, which is good because I'm not sure the Publick House even serves it at all. Instead, I had asked for a recommendation on a beer since they were out of what I ordered, an Oerbier. I must admit that is my one frustration with the Publick House and what keeps me from going more often - they have a fantastic selection of beers, but you can't count on the most exotic things being in stock. It seems like every time I go, they are out of at least one of beers I want to try. C'est la vie! I will say however that I've ended up trying some interesting and delicious things as a result via recommendation of their excellent and knowledgeable staff.

True to form, our waiter steered me toward a St. Bernardus Abt 12. It had a wonderful rich malty quality that I really enjoyed after the meal. I loved it's dark color and subdued froth, and it went down a little too easily. I didn't finish it because I began to feel the effects of all of the ultra-high alcohol beers we were drinking that evening. Still, it was a fantastic choice for after dinner. I'll add it to my short of things to have again.

A great time was most assuredly had by all. The pub's cozy pub atmosphere lends itself to easy conversation and a convivial feeling. I enjoyed my meal and the beers, as always, were beyond compare. I'm looking forward to my next trip there and I'm sure I will again be introduced to some fantastic new things. I anticipate I will leave, once again, feeling a little smarter about beer and a little tipsy from a touch of over-indulgence. We all deserve to treat ourselves to a bit of the brew from time to time.

If you have a favorite Belgian beer that you think I might enjoy, please leave me a comment and let me know about it. I'm always looking to expand my limited knowledge in this area. I'd love to hear back from you.

No comments:

Post a Comment