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Chicagoist's "Beer Of The Week:" St. Bernadus ABT 12

By Staff in Food on Aug 17, 2012 8:20PM

2012_8_17_botw.jpg Chicagoans were quick to embrace the summer-like weather that fell upon us in March, but not quite as quick to accept the tinge of autumn we're feeling in August. However, most serious beer drinkers can attest that the feeling of a change season dictates our palates, no matter what month it is. So, when choosing our beer of the week, our gaze fell from the session lagers and hoppy pales we’ve enjoyed all summer, and started to seek darker, deeper, and maltier styles.

No matter what the weather brings, it’s still technically summer. But, without an Oktoberfest or pumpkin ale in sight, what’s a beer nerd to do? Head for the classics, and enjoy a St. Bernardus ABT 12. We’re not talking about some new collaboration, or a hip new local brew, but we are talking about some delicious and historic beer. Brewed by Belgian monks since 1946, this unfiltered, copper-colored, cloudy dubbel has plenty of lacy head, and gives a nose of cherry, fig, and some yeast. Upon first sip, this beer hits you with malt, toffee, raisin, and some dark cherry notes, followed by a nice hoppy finish and a subtle booziness.

We recommend enjoying this beer as it is, especially as the evening temperatures drop to under 70, but with it’s 10.5% alcohol content, you may want to pair it with food. Some creamy cheese and fig preserves, or a any rich dessert would work well with this beer. If you’re really feeling the autumn spirit, pair it with game meats like venison or elk, or a rustic beef and beer stew.

True to the nature of Chicago’s weather, we’ll be back to seasonal temperatures soon, but in the meantime, try to drink some St. Bernardus ABT 12 to prime your palate for the autumn ahead.

St Bernardus ABT 12 is available on draft at Local Option and Map Room, or by the bottle at The Beer Bistro North Weegee’s, Quenchers and The Hopleaf.

—Lorna Juett