Official: Ebenezer's 9th Annual Belgian Beer Fest Thread

Discussion in 'New England' started by CLively, Jul 19, 2013.

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  1. CLively

    CLively Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2011 Maine

    Our system will do just fine with high gravity beers ;-)
  2. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    How's the fest so far?
  3. CLively

    CLively Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2011 Maine

    It sucks. Smoked Meats, Belgian food, music, 20 plus De Struise beers on tap being surrounded by the entire Ebenezer family and copious amounts of lambics are making this years event tougher than ever. It's okay though, we are suffering through it for all of those who couldn't attend. Yaaahhhhhooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
    brikelly, pjs234, ATLbeerDog and 5 others like this.
  4. polishkaz

    polishkaz Disciple (338) May 30, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Happy birthday Chris, bummed to be working instead. Have a Lambic or 3 for me.
  5. CLively

    CLively Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2011 Maine

    Thanks mang!!! Wish you were here too. Night of the Loons tonight. If you should get lost, the coordinates are 50N -4E.
  6. MyIronLung

    MyIronLung Aspirant (259) Oct 28, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Just got home from Lovell. What a great time at the dinner and the late night beers were epic. Now it's time to rest my liver from back to back nights of drinking killer beers till 4am.

    Still dreaming of Angel Foam And chatting with Yves..
    CLively likes this.
  7. Satchboogie

    Satchboogie Savant (975) Oct 16, 2010 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Angel Foam was spectacular. Chris, what were the last two bottles of the first cellar presentation? (Twin something and Kasteel(?) something I heard, couldn't get a good look at the bottles). A fantastic night with some great BAs (big thanks to the group that shared their 50N) and amazing lambicbeer.
  8. CLively

    CLively Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2011 Maine

    The first was: "The Art Geuze or The Twin Geuze".....I call that beer by two names.......and the last one was Geuze van t' Kasteel. To all the wonderful BA's who came out and supported us, we can thank you enough from the bottoms of our hearts. It's amazing what Craft Beer has done for our little town and our little barn out in the middle of nowhere. Love to you all! The Livelys
  9. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    Amazing time yesterday Chris and thank you for putting this together. Is you have any extra angel foam labels could I send you an envelope with postage and snag one? My blank bottle would look much better with one.
  10. CLively

    CLively Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2011 Maine

    Absolutely amigo!
  11. MyIronLung

    MyIronLung Aspirant (259) Oct 28, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Your cheeses were unreal!!!
    duchessedubourg likes this.
  12. MyIronLung

    MyIronLung Aspirant (259) Oct 28, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Hope this helps..

    CityofBals and Jnorton00 like this.
  13. cbutova

    cbutova Poo-Bah (3,344) Oct 10, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    So much to say, not really sure where to start... I've attended the Belgian Fest at Ebenezers for the last 4 years now and this was probably my favorite of them all. The Hair of the Dog year is close but this year's Night of the Great Thirst was just insane. Being able to sample those bottles in our group of 5 was more than affordable and just amazing considering how beautiful the weather and the surroundings are. Loons by the bottle indeed. It's also not everyday that you get to sample so many De Struise one-offs. The group of people sharing bottles were also some of the most generous and nice people I have met at any beer event. It basically ended up being 19 hours of world class brews from everywhere around the world. This might be the hardest Monday of work I will have ever. Talking lambic to Yves and other BAs around the fire late night was a big highlight. Also his reaction to Mango Magnifico was priceless. Thanks again to the Livelys and anyone else involved in putting this magnificent event together year after year. Thanks to all people sharing bottles, hopefully it will be the same group for years to come.
  14. Fujii13

    Fujii13 Aspirant (206) Apr 27, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    cbutova likes this.
  15. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (233) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    As always, an epic time featuring the best of Belgian beer, food and "celebrities" to listen to, drink beer and chat with. The bottleshares were spontaneous, random and mighty deep in selection. Love it when the Blegians join in with their personal goodies! The folks cranking out the yummy stuff in "The Food Court" at the end of the camping-lane deserve mad props for the delectable stuff they were offering. Nice to see Chris pain-free and in high spirits for his 40th birthday milestone, along with his Belgian buds enjoying his wonderful hospitality. The beers offered at NotGT were unique and beautiful. Glad Christophe finally escaped the kitchen and got to enjoy being fed by others for some good respite. The Dinner was epic and the food at the bar the rest of the weekend (including the Sunday breakfast!) was tasty as always - deep thanks to Christophe and the Eb's kitchen crew. I personally enjoyed seeing the pleasure on diners' faces when they dug into the cheese plate Thurs. night - can't wait to tell the various cheesemakers how much it was enjoyed. A very mellow crowd camping-out; well-maintained bonfires on 2 chilly nights, and a noticeable lack of negative hijinks in that compact little community. A pleasure all around - my 7th and continues to be a rare treat. Until next year...:slight_smile:
    cbutova likes this.
  16. jomobono

    jomobono Disciple (349) Mar 12, 2012 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Lambic 101 in the cellar was the highlight for me.
    ATLbeerDog and Jnorton00 like this.
  17. Archemedies

    Archemedies Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2011 Massachusetts

    Had a great time on Saturday. Met some great people. Really could not ask for better weather, and all those dragonflies keeping the bugs away made it truly awesome. Had to leave a little earlier than expected because I came unprepared for camping. Luckily my friends Aunts camp was only 15 minutes away. Wish I could have spoken more than a few words with the birthday boy, but he was running around everywhere.
  18. Archemedies

    Archemedies Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2011 Massachusetts

    Also, what brewery was the Flemish Gold (2008) from?
  19. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    Brooklyn I believe.
    Archemedies likes this.
  20. CityofBals

    CityofBals Initiate (0) Sep 12, 2012 Illinois

    This was epic, as always. Chris, it was great to speak with you and I hope you had a blast (even though you were running around like a mad-man the entire time)! Good to see everyone by the campfire enjoying each others company and sharing amazing meads, beers, and applejack (crazy good, thank you kind stranger!). Truly the best weekend of the year. Tenders, you're the man. Joe, it was great talking to you again - may you never sit in traffic. Yves, thank you tremendously for everything you're doing with HORAL, we will spread the good word (by the way, your geuze is amazing, please make more!).

    With regards from Chicago.


    Woody1180 and cbutova like this.
  21. Rochefort10nh

    Rochefort10nh Champion (864) Sep 30, 2005 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    What a fantastic dinner on Thursday! The food was unilaterally awesome, the beer was expertly paired and the company was Lively (forgive me, for I have badly punned). Chris, Jen, Christophe and the entire Ebs and Lion's Pride crews once again outdid themselves.
    So myself, jammalamma, his girlfriend and another friend arrived a little early and decided to open a few pregame beers before the night's festivities kicked off. One of those beers was my first Drie Fontenien Intense Red. Damn!! What a fantastic beer! It reminded me greatly of Lou Pepe Kriek and Boon Marriage Parfait Oude Kriek, two beers I adore. So anyway, after a few beers we saunter over to the screen porch after we see people starting to congregate and lo and behold, what beer do I see on the table? Intense Red! That's right Intense Red was one of our bieres de table! Like vast quantities of it! I knew this was going to be a great night! Other beers on the table were eight-year old Fantome Hiver (I've always heard of pencil shavings being a descriptor in certain wines, but this was the first time I've experienced that taste in a beer - in a good way!), and glasses of vintage Oud Beersel Oude Gueuze. Outstanding!
    An amuse bouche of salted fish and vegetables was perfectly briny with an amazingly silky texture that started things off on a very bold note. The Oud Beersel in particular paired beautifully with this spoonful of simplistic excellence.
    Next up was our tablemate Ruth's (duchesseduborg) Cheese plate and her choices this year were her strongest yet. Three of the cheeses were from Maine and one was from Vermont. The washed rind cheese from a tiny dairy in Durham, Maine featured notes of juniper and spices infused from a wassel ale brewed by one of the other people seated at our table, Michael LaCharite of Katadin Red and OxBow fame. The other two Vacationland dairy fermentables were a bloomy mild and a buttery, slightly sharp hard cheese. I didn't know the state of Maine was producing such fantastic cheeses. Watch out Vermont! Although the Catamount state's entry into the mix was a super intense black truffle hard cheese that screamed intense garlic!! These cheeses were paired tremendously with SaiSon of a Bitch, a fantastic beer from a Belgian homebrewing friend of Yves Pannel with an outstandingly charming hand label that wouldn't cut it with the feds! Corriander, lemon and grains of paradise were noteworthy on the palate.
    The Charcuterie Plate was overflowing with huge portions of proscuitto/speck, blood sausage, duck liver pate, sundried tomatoes and the most outstanding pickles I've ever had. Seriously, these were out-of-this-world gueuze pickles. These should be sold in every great beer store, restaurant and fine dining establishment focused on beer. The beer of choice for this course was De Cam Mixed Berry Lambic. Truly, truly one of the best beers/pairings of the night. Gooseberries were in the fore and the acidity of the lambic cut through the unctuousness of the meats with precision.
    The Zucchini Envelope that followed was a work of art! Expertly plated pastry wrapped salmon and zucchini was set in a pool of pea gazpacho and topped with giant tiger prawns. This was gorgeous and tasted as great as it sounded and looked. The gazpacho worked so well with the two different vintages of Vapeur Cochonne. The 1996 was so well aged and rounded, an absolutely perfect pairing, while the 2013 was young and brash full of orange and apple notes.
    Ok, I've been to every Ebenezer's Belgian Beer Dinner since it's inception many years ago and the next course was the best I've ever had!! To think it was a last minute addition blows my mind and speaks to the skill of the master chef of De Bistronoom. Such a simple ingredient transformed into high cuisine of the finest level. Hake Fillet. That's right the same Hake that most fishermen and chefs consider a trash fish. So fresh and exquisitely prepared - coated with nuts (pistacios?) and wrapped with leeks and set in bechamel sauce that was so rich and decadent, but yet which allowed the slightly sweet flakey fish to shine through with a refined elegance seldom seen in my gustatory journeys. I would order this dish at any restaurant on any day for almost any price. It was that good. So simple and yet it showcased the deft hand of a great chef at the top of his game. Really Christophe, this was wonderful! If this isn't on the menu yet at your restaurant it really ought to have a permanent place there. De Struise's Barrel-aged Struiselensis was a perfect pick with this! It further defined the sweet flesh of the white fish and added to the decadence of the bechamel with light bourbon notes while its wild yeast provided perfect contrast to the entire dish. Superb!!!!
    The return of Smeus is welcomed each year and it's quite obvious that the chefs have this dish down pat and it's also obvious why Chris insists of its inclusion on the menu each year. Consisting of a poached egg and lobster tail on a bed of smashed potatoes and topped with Hollandaise sauce and caviar and paired with the beer treat of the night, Angel Foam, this was an incredibly rich and decadent dish with the lambic's vinous notes taking it over the top. Yves story about the blend of lambics used to make this beer was outstanding! "When we tasted this, it was like angels pissing in our mouths." How could any description of a beer top that?! One of the best gueuzes I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Well done Christophe! Well done Yves!
    Coming at the perfect time, the Rose de Gambrinus sorbeto was so welcomed and refreshing. This was a perfect marriage of aged acidic Cantillon at it's finest blended with fresh fruit. Beautiful! This run of four outstanding dishes was the strongest of all the Belgian Beer dinners.
    The Beef Bourguignon that followed was another home run! Perfectly cooked thin slices of beef were set in a light beef broth. Not nearly the heavy dish that traditional versions of this classic can be. A six-liter bottle of St. Bernardous Abt. 12 was poured with this course and it's richness helped with the light broth.
    A deep fried cheese course followed and by this point I was beginning to feel the prior 6,000 calories!!! Thank goodness this is a once a year event! This was well prepared but honestly I could not even begin to eat it all as it was sinfully rich. Blackberry Black Albert added to gluttonous overload.
    Two deserts ended the marathon session of eating and drinking with the Lemon Meringue tartlets being the winner of the duo. These tarts were paired with two beer treasures!!! 1992 New Glarus Apple Ale and 1996 Belgian Red from the cellar of legendary CBC brewer Daryl Goss who recently passed away. The notes of apple in the Apple Ale were so strikingly fresh there's no way one would guess that they were drinking a 21-year old fruit beer of only four percent abv.!
    After dinner beers were outstanding as usual with the highlights for me being the Armand and Tommy Gueuze, Horal's Oude Gueuze Mega Blend 2013, Stille Nacht Reserva 2010 and Batch 3 Temptation from a Magnum. The 1902 Bass King's Ale was not nearly as good as it was a couple years ago but with bottles that old you really have no idea what to expect!! The 1998 Chimay Blue label magnum was aged nicely and was a real treat. Framboos was also passed around though it didn't end up making it my way. I've had the good fortune of having this beer three times so I'm glad others were able to try it!
    Other beers throughout the night included a six-litter bottle of St. Feuillen Grand Cru, Vapeur D'Antan 1996 and did I mention unlimited Intense Red:wink:! I swear I personally consumed four bottles!
    The late night bottle share around the camp fire was quite spirited and included 40 or so people and bottles such as Darkness, Framboise for a Cure, Vera Mae Batch 2 and Rosso de Marrone. Outstanding conversation and ever-so-generous sharing by BAs and non-BAs alike!
    Overall this years dinner was the best yet!
  22. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    Chris, what was the meat on the plate during the cellar presentation that wasn't blood sausage or pate?
  23. Desaparecido

    Desaparecido Initiate (154) Jun 3, 2008 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    This review will go a long way into convincing the wife to go next year. Greatly appreciated!
  24. pjs234

    pjs234 Zealot (544) Jun 29, 2008 Connecticut

    Ok, sorry for this question, but can someone let me know what to expect from this event tomorrow? i saw on the initial post that it goes through to tomorrow. I am currently in a car driving to North Conway to do some hiking. I recently learned that Ebenezers is pretty close, so I was planning stopping out there tomorrow for dinner. Then I saw this post... Will it be a mad house? Hard to get in? I would have done more research on my own (including reading more of this thread), but I don't like reading in the back seat of a moving car. Any input hugely appreciated.
  25. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (233) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Almost all of the "craziness" was last weekend. Pretty mellow evenings for the remainder, and mostly locals now. Wonder how much DeStruise is left on tap? Regardless, always good beers at the bar and maybe the Belgian menu is still on - give them a call for an update. Just do it - you're too close by not to!
    ubufan2112 likes this.
  26. pjs234

    pjs234 Zealot (544) Jun 29, 2008 Connecticut

    Cool thanks. Definitely want to go, trying to talk my friends into it. How is the food there? One of my friends does not do beer, so good food would go a long way towards getting her to go
  27. valdieu2

    valdieu2 Aspirant (288) Feb 23, 2012 Maine

    My wife does not drink at all but loves to go. There is always something good to eat.
    On Tuesday night, there were still 15 De Struise beers on.
    If you've never been and you are this close, go.
    If everybody doesn't have fun, blame it on me and the Duchess.
    pjs234 and cbutova like this.
  28. CypherEnigma

    CypherEnigma Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2011 Massachusetts

    They also have a full bar for the less beer inclined people. I brought 2 friends with me and once they found out that Long Island iced teas were cheaper than 80% of the taps their night was done.
    jomobono and pjs234 like this.
  29. fistfight

    fistfight Initiate (178) Jan 13, 2006 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Seconded. My wife drags ME there sometimes, but doesn't drink beer at all. The power of an amazing cheese steak, I guess.
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