Boca Raton, and South Florida at large, get prepared for a uniquely niche brewery to hold its grand opening this coming Saturday March 28th: the Belgian-centric Barrel of Monks Brewery.
Starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 5pm, the new brewery, which has been holding soft open days the past couple of weeks, will be tapping kegs to the public to celebrate their opening. Expect a diverse showing of Belgian beers produced in house, right here in southern Palm Beach County.
We had the opportunity to sample most of these beers before the event, and it's safe to say that the need to buy bottles of imported Belgian beers in order to get that authentic and well crafted taste is no longer a necessity. Now, a fantastic selection will be brewed right here at home.
The following beers should be available at the festival:
- Single in Brugge - Belgian Single. It is lighter in alcohol (4.5%) but not light in flavor. It is also light in color and in body, making it very drinkable. It has a malty background with a light hop finish. Quite quaffable!
- Abbey Terno - Belgian Dubbel. The aroma is spicy and fragrant. It is full in flavor with a malty base with spicy overtones. There are hints of chocolate and caramel. No heavy roasted or burnt flavors in this beer! There is a mild hop bitterness provided by noble hops.
- Three Fates - Belgian Trippel. Gold in color, highly carbonated with a dense white head that lasts. The mouthfeel is full but not heavy. The aroma is spicy and floral, with a hint of hops. The flavor has a blend of spicy notes and fruity esters; there are hints of clove and light fruits aside the bready malt flavor. The 9% ABV is well hidden, so be careful!
- Quadraphonic - Belgian Quad. A beer meant to be sipped and savored. It is a dark brown ale with a complex profile. On the nose, expect malty sweetness with complex esters including some dark fruit aromas (raisin, plum, fig). The mouth feel is medium carbonation with full body, there is a rich creamy head. The flavor is rich and full, a real “mouth bomb”. Malt flavors predominate, with spicy and dark fruit notes, raisins and dark cherries with dark chocolate come to mind. This is a smooth drinking beer that can be dangerous, go easy on this one!
- Endless Enigma - Belgian Pale Ale. Although certainly not as hoppy as a typical west coast IPA, this uses several types of continental hops to give a hop bitterness that is firm but not harsh. It is light amber in color, with the earthy aromas of noble hops predominating. The mouthfeel is refreshing, with lively carbonation and a rich head. The light malt backbone gives a mild sweetness balanced by a healthy dose of European hops.
- White Wizard - Wit. A wheat beer that is pale in color and naturally cloudy. It is a spiced ale using coriander and Florida orange peel to add a citrus crispiness that makes it a refreshing and drinkable ale. There is a light hop finish to add to the drinkability of this beer.
- Nuance - Saison. A pale ale with a high level of carbonation, and a light body. It is crisp and spicy, with a distinctive but not harsh hop bite. A delicious entry in a sometimes broad category of beers.
- Nuance Noir - Black Saison. The addition of roasted malts adds color and complexity, giving their normally dry saison a bit of a toasted cracker flavor, also adding some peppery notes. Don’t let the dark color fool you, it is still a very refreshing beer that sits light on the stomach and goes down easy.
- Parade of Souls - Belgian Imperial Stout. A thick and rich black beer with the roasted flavors of a stout but the unique flavors created by Belgian yeast. It is meant to be drunk slowly while appreciating the complex flavors created by a complex malt bill and long maturation times.
The saison and Belgian quad are a personal favorite, and I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks at the event. Find me and let's discuss.
The event will feature a plethora of food trucks (Palate Party, BC Tacos, Sweet Daddy BBQ and Wholesome Rollers so far) including live music, a silent disco, guest taps from local Florida breweries including Saltwater Brewery, Funky Buddha Brewery, Due South Brewing, Copperpoint Brewing Company, Twisted Trunk Brewing, and Tequesta Brewing Company.
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Beers will be $5 a pour, or for those looking to sample all day, a limited number of unlimited drink tickets available for $40 per person.
Barrel of Monks Brewery is located at 1141 S. Rogers Circle, Suite 5 in Boca Raton.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.