Lucky Baldwins' Belgian Beer Festival Part II

It is that time of year when beer drinkers from all over the Southland venture to that tiny watering hole in Pasadena (and now in Sierra Madre as well) called Lucky Baldwins for the finest in Belgian Beers (for the second time this year). This time around is sure not to disappoint. In fact, the folks at Lucky's have extended the second part two two full weeks . . . well 16 days in total (from August 15th to August 30th)! And, don't forget to bring your glass from the previous festivals in order to take advantage of the steep discounts! For example, the average Belgian goes for $8-$9, as is expected for beers of this caliber. But, if you bring that glass with you, you only pay $6 (or $4 for a taster, but who would do that?).

Don't have a glass? Buy one! It pays for itself in two drinks . . . the glass is $10 this year.

So what should you expect? Well, I cannot speak for every night since the beers get rotated out quite frequently given the volume of beer that they sell. But, I can give the following notes based on my visit last Saturday:

1: St. Louis Gueuze - Went with this to start off mostly because I have never seen a gueuze on tap. It is a fantastic beer, but for those of you familiar with gueuzes know that it is more of an acquired taste. And this is true for the St. Louis as well. It is very tart, almost like sour lollipop, yet malty enough to mellow the beer out. Its color is straw-like. If you are new to gueuzes, I think this is a good starting place, especially for only $6.

2: Urthel Hop-it - I have to admit that I have had this beer many times in the past. But, I was in the mood for hops and, well, Belgian beers are just not know for their hop characteristics, except for the Hop-it. Its a bizarre beer if you will in that its aroma is almost that of dial soap at times (you know, the stuff you wash your dishes with), but the taste is very fruity in nature and the color is rich if not leaning toward the red side. If you want hops at a Belgian beer festival, this may be the way to go.

3: St Feuillien Saison - Having never seen St Feuillien's Saison before, I had to give it a try. Lets face it, Dupont's Saison and Ommegang's Hennepin (also a saison) are two of the tastiest beers. The St Feuillien Saison did not let me down. I highly recommend it. In fact, as I was leaving the pub a friend of mine showed up. I forgot to give him my recommendations and so I made sure to send him a text saying "#5" . . . since the St Feuillien Saison was the fifth beer on the list of more than 50. It is complex in nature due to the spices used in the brewing process. These additions also give the beer the aroma of a kitchen full of orange and spice. Wow. I wish I could find this beer in bottles as I would definitely be willing to purchase multiple bottles. It was that good. The maltiness is just enough to mellow out the spices such that you don't get the feeling you are dry-huffing a jar off coriander or something along those lines. It is simply a fantastic beer.

So, hopefully you will make the time to head out to Pasadena (if you are in the area) for the Belgian Beer Festival Part II at Lucky Baldwins before it ends on August 3oth. But, if not, stay tuned for more beer updates from the world of Belgian beers.


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