I had a craving for some Won Ton Soup the other day, so I headed out to the finest Vietnamese restaurant in all of Erie County, Mekong.
Granted, it may be the only Vietnamese restaurant in all of Erie County, but I challenge any of you to argue that it just may be the best Vietnamese restaurant in all of the United States.
Honestly, that may sound a little extreme, but once you see the beer list at Mekong, you will probably agree with me.
When I sat down at the bar and got my Won Ton Soup and chicken and vegetable lunch special, I told Chuck (owner of Mekong) that I was in the mood for some really different beers. As much as I love my IPA’s and stouts, and of course we all know how much I love my fall seasonals, I was just in a mood for something different.
Not only was my lunch delicious, but of course Chuck delivered on my special request when he opened up his heavenly vault of delicious nectars.
I took home with me three very unique style beers that could very well please everyone’s palate.
Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s Gulden Draak 10.5% abv
Classified as Belgian Strong Ale, this beer packs a punch in all facets of its liquid being.
At 10.5% ABV, it’s difficult to not feel the slight alcohol burn during the finish; however I advise to let this beer warm up in the glass a little bit. It’s ok to not drink it right away, let it marinate in room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.
This will not only take away the strong alcohol burn, but will also accentuate all the other bright, bold flavors that this gem has to deliver.
Pouring a dark copper with an off white head, this brew gives way to aromas of a typical Belgian Strong Ale-yeasty with dark fruits such as plums, black cherry and raisin.
The interesting part of this brew is the other aromas not traditionally found in a Belgian Strong Ale-vanilla, caramel and some bright fruits (I caught a good bit of berry fruits in the nose, mainly blueberry).
The taste was similar to the aroma, with a nice, medium carbonation that made this beer very enjoyable and refreshing.
If I had to sum it up, I would consider this beer to be a hybrid between a Belgian Triple (the lighter bodied, more citrusy Belgians such as Victory Golden Monkey), mixed with a very heavy, dark Belgian Quad.
A true winner.
You’ll love the flavor combinations in this beer, but take your time to enjoy them. This beer is a heavy hitter, and is meant for sipping.
So sit back, relax and let this little slice of paradise warm you up on even the coldest of the upcoming winter days.
Oh, by the way, quarterback number twenty didn’t play too bad last Sunday. I mean, we still lost, but he could’ve thrown a couple sweet underhanded interceptions. Right?
Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale 5.5% ABV
Now I know the name of this guy leaves a lot to be desired.
I mean, there are very few words that sound more disgusting than flem (maybe…moist? Mucous? Or the one I’ve always cringed at….dry heave?).
Well, just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, don’t judge a beer by its name. This is an interesting ale that all types of beer drinkers-and wine drinkers will enjoy!
Pouring a clear, reddish mahogany, this brew leaves a nice, fluffy head that emits nice, subtle scents of sourness, cherry and a strong wine like grape smell.
Very smooth and mellow on the nose, the taste follows with a very slight sour cherry and grape flavor, with a slight hop bite to finish.
The slight sourness leaves a nice lingering on the tongue that compliments this ale’s heavy carbonation, providing a smooth and refreshing drinking experience.
Quite different from other sour ales I’ve had in the past, this one delivers a very smooth and refreshing taste that wine drinkers will most likely thoroughly enjoy.
Lindeman’s Peche 2.5% ABV
Finally, I finished out my journey with a one of a kind brewery that is world renowned for their Lambics (aka…fruit beers).
If you’re a fan of the Presidents of the United States of America’s song “Peaches” (yes, you know the song, and hopefully I have now gotten it stuck in your head for the rest of the day) that will have nothing to do with determining if you like this beer or not. That’ll just remind of you the 90’s, and how awesome they were.
Ok, now anyways……Lindemans brews a lot of Lambics, the most famous is probably the Lindemans Framboise.
Framboise is a Raspberry flavored fruit beer that I’ve seen even the manliest of men drink (I once witnessed Chuck Norris order one).
They are very unique, and most importantly, very fruity. Peche pours a cloudy bright orange color, pretty much the color of a peach. I’m sure at this point I don’t even need to tell you what this beer smells and tastes like because it’s pretty obvious, but just in case you’re not following along-it’s pure peach.
It has a nice carbonation that helps cut into the sweetness, but this is a wonderful desert drink that also goes quite well with mixing into other brews.
I’m not quite sure off of the top of my head what Peche would pair well with, but I do know that mixing Framboise and Guinness to make a “Black Raspberry” is quite a delicious treat.
Well, my thirst is quenched and my stomach is full. Mekong, you beautiful person you, you’ve done it again. Always delicious food, and always an even more delicious beer selection.
As always folks, please enjoy responsibly.
“I feel bad for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s the best they’re going to feel all day!”