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Monday, April 11, 2011

Grimbergen Tasting at Brussels Beer Cafe, Menara Hap Seng

I was invited to a beer tasting session at Brussels Beer Cafe, Menara Hap Seng last Tuesday. It will be my first time drinking the premium full-body beer from Belgium. Grimbergen has been in production since 1128, that is about 883 years. Older than any beer that I've known.

I prefer brunette. Lame joke, I know.

It first started being brewed by monks in a Grimbergen Abbey just North of Brussels. So, where better to have this tasting session other than Brussels Beer Cafe? The recipe of the beer brewing was handed down by the monk until now that it's into commercialisation that the quality of the beer still being monitored by the monks in Grimbergen Abbey.

Carlsberg came to own Grimbergen after they bought Kronenbourg (a French beer that is not bad too) that at that time already bought Grimbergen. Thanks to that, we can have a chance to get Grimbergen here because of Carlsberg global presents.

The colour of the premium full-body beer is of clear brownish gold. At the moment, Carlsberg only bringing it in in bottle form. I am not sure whether there's barrel form or not for Grimbergen. Even in bottle, the taste is very nice for me already.

Smelling the beer gave me a bit of fruity fragrant thanks to the premium hop that was used to brew the beer. A sip of the beer, it taste rich and refreshing, even with 6.5% of alcohol it's quite easy to drink as compared to a 5% alcohol lager. Taking another sip but this time I suck in the air while drinking it, so that to allow it to mix with the air. It gives a slightly sourish, fruity and oakish flavour. The after taste is in the middle, it will be there for a few minutes. Finally, I just swallow a big gulp of the beer and it's very refreshing indeed.

As the norm, a beer tasting session always goes in pair with food that is suitable for the taste of the beer. Master Chef from Germany specially created this dish, "Baked Mussels with Grimbergen Infused Cream & Cheese Sauce Topped with Shredded Bacon" for that night. So, you won't be able to find it in the menu of Brussels Beer Cafe yet.

Baked Mussels with Grimbergen Infused Cream & Cheese Sauce Topped with Shredded Bacon

The baked mussels is really good, the cream & cheese sauce infused with Grimbergen has a creamy cheesy yet bitter taste of a beer and cheddar cheese. The savouriness will come from the shredded bacon, without the bacon the sauce and the mussel will be quite bland. It's better to eat it while it's warm because I tried eating a cold one and the salt in the bacon has been solidfy, making it very salty.

Unlike other beer, the master chef that created the Baked Mussels with Grimbergen Infused Cream & Cheese Sauce Topped with Shredded Bacon told us that Grimbergen goes very well with cheese, even better that red wine.

Of course it doesn't end there, food that follows are Brussels Beer Cafe's very own roasted pork with balsimic vinegar salad as the side and another dish is a platter of pork sausage, meat balls in cameralized onion sauce, calamari rings and chips. The roasted pork is really good, with the layer of skin, fat and meat nicely portioned. The skin is crispy. What surprised me is that I like the salad very much, especially the feta cheese that is used.

Roasted pork with Greece Salad?

I like that size of the chips which let you get the texture of the potato, of course the dipping that comes with it goes very well with it. I like the fact that the pork sausage still can feel chunky meat texture rather than some over processed sausage that feel too smooth to be call meat.

Pork sausage, meat balls in cameralized onion sauce, calamari rings and chips platter.

Great beer, good food. What more can I asked for? Well, how about a company of beautiful ladies?

Hot DJ Mynn from RED FM

Gorgeous DJ Linora from RED FM

Too bad both of them have to leave early because they have to go ON AIR at 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Sunday till Friday for their radio programme Late Night Love Songs. Catch them during that time by tuning in to 104.9 FM.

Esther looking good as ever.

Jessy whom I think can eat more food :p. I now love and hate the CMOS backlighting of my Nikon Coolpix S8100.

Not the forget the guys, Joshua, Jason and Henry.

People not in the pictures are Marcky, Ah Bok and Ken.

Master Chef done a wonderful job with the mussels.

The Carlsberg Malaysia Managing Director advised us to finished of the beer tasting with a lager. Of course, the lager must be Carlsberg.

And Marcky really finished off the Carlsberg in 2 seconds.


Nava Kishnan said...

the mussels and roasted pork is making my mouth water now and increasing my hunger pang, looks so yummy.

Nikel Khor said...

feel like wana eat that mussel again.. drooling now.. haha

Simon Seow said...

Nava: it's making me drooling again

Nikel: Hahaha, other mussel can lah but this is not on the menu