Or fancier, at least. Last week, the LCBO started stocking a few delicately crafted gems from 200-year-old Belgian brewery Bosteels. And, next month, one of the most sought-after beers in the world will hit shelves as well—a limited edition, monk-brewed rarity from Belgium’s Westvleteren abbey. (Yes, it’ll sell out fast.) Here’s a rundown of the new brews.
1. Westvleteren 12
The Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren is falling apart—bad news for the monks, but good news for beer aficionados. That’s where this ultra-rare brew is made. To pay for renovations, the monks are producing 163,000 six-packs to sell globally (it’s normally only available at the abbey). Toronto’s complement will hit LCBO shelves in mid-November. It’s a complex, 10.2 per cent alcohol by volume dark Belgian ale with notes of prunes, figs, and currants, along with molasses, cherries, smoke, and earthy hops.
Super-rare: Quantity to be determined.
2. Pauwel Kwak
This sparkling, rose-hued ale has aromas of strawberry candy, cinnamon toast, and banana. It’s a warm, malty brew whose sweet caramel notes play as nicely with Moroccan-spiced lamb as they do with a Crunchie bar.
Serve at cellar temperature.
3. Tripel Karmeliet
Not one but three kinds of grains are used to make this bronzed ale, which gives it the unusually wicked combination of a thick, frothy head atop a silky body. With warming peach, vanilla, and orange notes, you’ll barely notice the 8.4 per cent punch.
Serve at cellar temperature (wait 20 minutes after removing from fridge).
4. Deus Brut des Flandres
$18.40/750 mL bottle
The Champagne of beers—literally. To make it, Bosteels sends its strong ale to France’s Champagne region. Before it’s bottled, more yeast is added for a new round of fermentation. The bottle is turned daily for about three weeks, allowing the yeast to settle in the neck, where the yeast deposits are frozen and removed. The result is a golden ale with the sparkling quality of a Champagne (and 11.5 per cent alcohol by volume) but stays firmly in the beer camp thanks to its sourdough notes—a sip is a bit like taking a bite of apple crisp.
Serve ice-cold in a flute glass.
Rare: Only 40 cases available.