Friday, September 11, 2009

Belgian Shmelgian

Cheeky Monk Belgian Cafe, Denver, Colorado

As the Great American Beer Fest (GABF) approaches later this month, beer establishments great and small around Denver are preparing first for Denver Beer Week (September 18th-24th) and then the GABF immediately following (Sept 24-26th).

I stopped into the Cheeky Monk today to hear about their preparations. First and foremost, they have added 8 new taps, bringing their total to 24 Belgian Originals or American Craft Brewery interpretations of Belgian beers.

Why is this important?

Belgian beers are known for their strangeness. They produce big beers, fruity beers, beers using wild yeasts and bacteria for fermentation...and are basically willing to put anything that will ferment into their beers. Until recently, the only place you could get them was visiting Belgium. If you want to taste a beer you haven't tried before, the Cheeky Monk is the place (other than Belgium, that is).

The new taps have a number of beers that they have had on their "Beers of the Moment" rotating taps but also have a number of beers that they formerly only had in bottles.

Two years ago, the Wednesday before the GABF a couple of guys from an east coast brewery came in the Cheeky Monk for a bottled beer that they could get no where else. This was the Kasteel Rouge (Castle Red). It is a Sour Beer made with cherries, and I endeavored to have one with them. It has always been my favorite Belgian ever since. Now Cheeky Monk has it on tap.

For those of you visiting for Denver Beer Week or the GABF, I highly recommend the Cheeky Monk. They are located about 6 blocks east of downtown on Colfax Avenue, and will have a bus running from the convention center to their location during the GABF.

A full list of the events at the Cheeky Monk are on line:

Today wasn't the day to come clean about Belgian Beers.

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