Coming to you live from France 44 in south Minneapolis where the Beerlympics are underway and we have seen some fierce competition amongst the world’s best ales and lagers. This February will be the culmination of years of recipe preparation from our head brewers. Modern training regimens are more demanding than ever: including high-altitude fermentation, cross-country beering, freestyle mash-paddling, and mixed-grain malt diets. Minute details such as proper attenuation and dry-hopping rates could be the deciding factors in who reaches the winner’s circle. With just over a week left in competition, let’s take a glance at our top Beerlympics medal contenders:
Like an iron fist in a velvet glove. Almond, marzipan, and plum aromas dance atop flavors of caramel, banana, and dark fruit. Power and finesse.
Netherlands – La Trappe Quadrupel, $12.99/750ml
The beefiest brew in the La Trappe stable. It’s rich, malty, sweet palate offers hints of vanilla, almond, fruit and burnt sugar. Widely known for landing the first ever quadruple-cork 1260.
United States – Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, $7.99/6pk
A gnarly, hop-shreddin’ pale ale that grew up on the west coast. Citrus-forward Northwest hop varieties add balance to a slightly toasted malt character. Bound to be on the podium.
Norway – Hammerheart Fimbulvetr NE-Style Oak-Smoked Wheat Double IPA, $11.99/750ml
Born in the USA yet still somehow allowed to compete for Norway. Fimbulvetr, “The Great Winter,” is a legend at the winter Beerlympics. Disciplined in New England haze, Oak-smoking, and Wheat-y wonderfulness, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
Canada – Unibroue Lune de Miel, $9.49/750ml
Don’t be fooled by its honeyed complexion, Lune de Miel is here to rumble. A hoppy bouquet introduces its spicy, florally herbaceous palate. Don’t sleep on Lune de Miel.
A cider… in the Beerlympics? You betcha’, we’re all inclusive here! Ripe apple, lemon, and roasted nuts. Acid, sugar and tannin are all in precise balance.
Austria – Stiegl Grapefruit Radler, $8.99/4pk
The ultimate thirst quencher, Stiegl Radler was parented by Stiegl Goldbrau lager and Grapefruit soda. Its fresh, fruity disposition is not to be mistaken for weakness.
Sweden – Omnipollo Shoutau Peach Slush IPA, $10.99/4pk
Wheat, oats, peach, lactose sugar, and some mighty fine hops. Brewed in the USA but raised in Sweden. This brew has exceptional balance on slushy slopes.
Black Barrels is not a brewery, but a blendery. Working with local brewers, Renzo Losi spontaneously ferments his wort in oak barrels down in his cellar. Yellow Doctor is aged with thyme for a soft, spicy acidity. Unique and unexpected, a true dark horse.
Switzerland – BFM Abbaye de St. Bon Chien 20th Anniversary Ale, $29.99/750ml
Aged in mother-lovin’ Château Latour Grand Cru oak barrels. This Bière de Garde displays complex vintage wine characteristics with beautiful structure and oak balance. The most accomplished of our participants.
Denmark – Viking Blod Mead, $27.99/750ml
A mead whose reputation precedes it. King of the mead selection at France 44. This metheglin-style mead is spiced with hibiscus and hops, lending soft floral, citrus notes. Its warming alcohol content makes it especially resistant to the cold of the Winter Beerlympic Games.