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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Asimov's Latest

Eric Asimov, the beer writer for the New York Times, has a new column out on "Belgian pales," an unneccesarily vague category into which he collects a rather diverse set of beers. They're not really compared against each other, so the purpose for doing this isn't obvious.

There is no category, strictly speaking, of Belgian pale ales. But the Belgians make a lot of beers that defy categorization. We gathered 23 that may not have a whole lot in common except that they are excellent summer quenchers.

Though colors range from a warm gold to copper, all are on the pale side of the spectrum. Some have a provocative spiciness, while others are a mite hoppy, or even a bit sour. But what unites the best of these beers under our hodgepodge category is that they not only are dry and refreshing, they are stimulating.

However! While I normally find fatal flaws with Asimov's commentary (he's not particularly well-versed on styles and hasn't tasted American beers not available in New York--he is principally a wine guy), this is a pretty good article--it may excite fans who have never tried Belgians. The selection, especially of the transcendent Orval, is excellent.

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