American Belgian Fest at Collins Pub

If you enjoy Belgian beers and want to branch out from regular visits to Brouwer’s and Stumbling Monk, you might want to stop by Collins Pub sometime this week. Last Friday, the bar kicked off their American Belgian Fest by tapping 15 kegs of North American-brewed Belgian-style beers. The beer selections run the gamut from wits and saisons to dubbels and tripels. West Coast breweries are strongly represented, but some East Coasters like Ommegang (NY) and Allagash (ME) are in the mix as well.

I got over to Collins a few hours before the Super Bowl yesterday. It was a great time to go. Only a handful of people were there and everything they tapped on Friday was still available. It was tempting to stay all day and try all 15, but I exercised moderation and avoided alcohol poisoning. Collins is offering each beer for $4 a glass (a generous 10-12 ounce goblet) or 3 for $10, so my lady friend and I ordered one set of 3 plus an extra. The highlight of the four beers we tried was the North Coast La Merle, a saison whose tasty balance of peppery spice and bready yeast made it one of the better American attempts at a saison. We also tried the Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence (a bit too bitter and funky until it warms up and the chocolate emerges), the Water Street Big Phat Morning Wood (wood-aged sour beer that was interesting but didn’t have the puckering power that I like in my sour beers) and Avery’s the Reverend (a rich, strong and complex quadrupel that’s nice to share but is a bit much for a full glass).

Here’s a list of all the draft beers available:

Allagash Wit
Allagash Curieux
Avery the Reverend
Great Divide Hades
Lazy Boy Belgian Strong Ale
New Belgium Eric’s Ale
North Coast La Merle
North Coast Brother Thelonious
Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence
Ommegang Wit
Rogue (Issaquah) Menage à Frog Tripel
Russian River/Avery Collaboration Not Litigation
Stix de Santis Strong Ale
Unibroue Trois Pistoles
Water Street Big Phat Morning Wood

In addition to the draft selections, there are a few other options available in bottles. Also, the food menu has taken on some Belgian additions including a variety of dishes with mussels and a chicken and lobster waterzooi. (Waterzooi is a kind of Belgian stew. I hear the word actually translates to “watery mess,” but I’m thinking it tastes better than that.)

The beer definitely tasted good. If you have any interest, I’d recommend getting over to Collins soon. I’m going back for happy hour tonight to take advantage of that 3-for-10 deal before these beers are gone.

2 Comments so far

  1. Ryan Healy (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

    Wow. Collins Pub isn’t messing around.

  2. James (unregistered) on February 6th, 2008 @ 11:59 am

    What three will you be hitting tonight? I like beers that bludgeon, could you direct me towards the three that taste great and pack a big punch?

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