07 January 2013

WILK Friday BeerBuzz - 4 Jan 2013 Orval Trappist Ale

We’re taking a deep breath on the WILK Friday BeerBuzz as we launch into 2013.  It’s been a crazy holiday season and we’re ready to think late-winter and spring beer.  Keep in mind we’ve featured 10 different holiday beers in the last 4 weeks so it’s time to make a change.

For the first show of the new year, I wanted to feature a beer that is worthy of that New year’s honor.  I also wanted to start the new year with a really special beer that is readily available, affordable, full of flavor and a historically significant beer as well.  Finally, I simply wanted to switch gears and get away from the traditionally dark and spicy holiday ales.

Each January, to launch the new year, I like to feature a true Trappist beer on the Friday BeerBuzz.  For 2012 we featured Rochefort 10 as a way to support the brewery after the tragic fire just weeks earlier.  For 2013 I decided to keep up our tradition and feature a Trappist beer once again…so today’s beer was Orval Trappist Ale.
Coming to us from Villers-Devant-Orval in Belgium, Orval is not only a classic Belgian beer, but also a beer brewed by one of 8 certified Trappist breweries around the world.  Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren, Achel, La Trappe, and Stift Engelszell are among the worlds most sought after beers…however Orval is readily available in the U.S. and one of my favorites.

Orval Abbey dates back to 1132, and while historical accounts say there has been a brewery & hop fields on the site for hundreds of years, the Orval Brewery officially dates to 1931.  The brewery uses a logo featuring a trout with a ring in it’s mouth, and legend has it that Mathilda of Tuscany lost her wedding ring on the site and after praying for it’s return, a trout sprung from the lake with her ring in it’s mouth.  Upon finding the ring Mathilda declared it to be a “Val d’ Or” or Golden Valley from which the Orval name was derived.

Orval makes only one beer and we were excited to sample it on the show.  Orval Trappist Ale is a Belgian Pale Ale that is bottle conditioned and it comes in at an easy drinking 6.2% ABV.  With notes of yeast, fruit & of course hops (thanks in part to their extensive use of dry-hopping) this is a classic Belgian beer.

We’re also lucky enough to be just a few hours from an official Orval Ambassador bar.  With only 5 in the United States, Orval Ambassador bars are certified by Orval and not only include proper serving vessels and methods, but some even feature the famous Orval cheeses to pair with your Orval.  So get your butt down to Monks Café in Philadelphia and try one for yourself.  Or better yet, simply run up to Krugel’s Georgetown Deli and buy a bottle to enjoy at home.

Thank you to Nancy, John & Joe for yet another

fun Friday. 

The Friday BeerBuzz…bringing good beers and good people together. As always you can check out the video on-line at the WILK Friday BeerBuzz page by clicking HERE.

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