Champagne Beer for Champagne Girls
“She’s the best there is, and she knows it!” Intoxicating beauty, crystalline charisma, confidence exuding from every pore. Her hair, luminescent in the moonlight, accents the curves of her voluptuous cleavage, while her eyes dance with unabashed seductiveness. She is the reflection of undiluted luxury, sophisticated in every facet of social gracefulness.
You’re on a dance floor of crystal delight, Girls, and it’s time to change partners!
A woman’s worth is measured by her purpose in life, the contributions she makes to the world, and her own view of herself. Your idea of the “Champagne Girl” is no different than the exotic, feminine beauty of the “Grand Cru Girl”,“Duvel Darling”, or “Woman of Witte.” They may not openly admit it to the paparazzi, but men like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt prefer a confident woman who revels in biere blanche.
The lioness who loves dangerously delicious beer!
Champagne’s counterpart may well be characterized by the qualities found in wheat beer. Also known as “white beer”, witbier (Flemish), biere blanche (French), or weissbier (German), this style has the pleasant qualities of a brisk and light palate. In most cases, proteins and yeasts give a hazy glow to the body, and add a thick rocky head that rivals the snowy mountaintops of Everest.
German/Bavarian styles use select, top-fermenting yeasts that impart flavors of cloves, bananas, smokiness, bubblegum and candy sugar to the body, often adding fresh fruits or herbs for extra zest. Belgian witbier is brewed with a large portion of unmalted wheat with old-world spices of Curacao orange-peel and coriander, which add a touch of acidic tartness to the brew
Within the signature, a brisk complexity defines this style, along with a sharp dry finish that floats upon fruity waves of intensity. This is achieved by using hops, like gentle down, to lightly pepper the sweeter flavors and diffuse their sweet profile.
DeuS (Brut de Flanders) – Biere de Champagne – Brouwerij Bosteels, Buggenhout, Belgium – Served from a poshly elegant 750 ml bottle with thick foil generously wrapping a caged-and-corked head, this touch of refinement opens with the craaaccckkk-and-pop of a classic champagne bottle. It is all about details – even the cork is embossed: 'Beyond the Best of - DEUS - Brut des Flandres.' The body reflects the colors of perfectly-polished brass, while manic bubbles race upward toward the top, where they join a moussy head of linen white.
Aromas are of apple Danish, vanilla and graininess, mixed with pears, mint, citrus, thyme, coriander, alcohol and earth. The tongue sensations are like the aromas, only intensified.
DeuS follows a complex flow across European boundaries. After its initial fermentation and tank conditioning, it travels from Northern Belgium to the remueur in France, who turns the bottle a little each day as it ages, gradually moving the neck into a downward vertical position. After the yeast sediment settles, the neck is frozen. The frozen bung is then disgorged by inner-pressure. The elixir is redosed, after which it receives its final cork.
At $25 a bottle, this may seem a bit high end. Keep in mind that DeuS is dangerously drinkable, subtle, silken and refined – well worth the extra pocket change!
Duvel – Belgian Strong Pale Ale – Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV, Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium – Often referred to as ‘sex in a bottle,’ the huge head builds white-as-the-driven-snow over crystalline waves of hazy sunlight. Scrumptious aromas of apple skin, exotic spices, florals, and yeast beg you to succumb to its devilish playground. Flavors of Saaz hops grab the tongue, where you are pulled into a throat of alcoholic warmth and unending hedonism. This approaches the profile of dry champagne, with added depth.
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier - Hefeweizen – Brauerei Weihenstephan, Freising, Germany – Vaporous swirls of dark golden straw are topped with a magniloquent head of brilliant white in the pour. This head sits like a hand-whipped crème-de-la-crème, locking-in the amorous aromas that linger beneath. Fresh bread dough, citrus and cloves! Allow the flavors to wash your tongue as you savor the cotton-candy malt sweetness that blend with Curacao orange peel. Backstage, banana and cloves whisper as soft background music in an exquisite interplay of capacious song. This is worth seeking out!
Blanche De Brooklyn – Witbier – Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, New York, USA – A luminescent glow of orange-yellow greets the sun as it arises hazy over the painted desert. Such is the body of Blanche de Brooklyn, magnificently coated with pure-white mounds of dimpled foam. Aromas are of rising dough, dipped in the juices of light summer fruit. The taste buds become intoxicated with sweet wheat malt, while scintillating spices of ginger and cinnamon wrap their arms around softer notes of coriander, lemon zest and orange skins. Superb!
More Champagne Beer
Now that you are educated in the complexities of exotic beer profiles and their superior interplay of flavors, you may wish to seek out other Champagne-like beers. Here are a few more to set you on your journey of discovery:
Chimay Cinq Cents (White/Wit) – Belgian Tripel – Bières de Chimay (Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont), Baileux, Belgium – Pellucid amber with billowy, meringue-style head. Yeasty aromas touched with spice and cloves. Flavors of orange blossom honey with grainy maltiness and dry finish.
Hoegaarden Grand Cru – Witbier – Brouwerij van Hoegaarden, Hoegaarden, Belgium – Cloudy, vibrant pale orange with creamy froth that lays thin atop the angel juice. Dull citric sweetness of lemon candy rests over a profile of baked bread and alcohol. This is smooth and slides down the throat with erotic ease.
Ommegang Witte – Witbier – Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, New York, USA – Capacious bleach white head crowns a milky lemon haze, with lacing that coats the flute as if it were etched crystal. Aromas are of sweetened wheat bread seasoned with lemon, lime and orange. The palate is attacked with pears and apples, with the citrus profile lingering in the wings as spices from the Far East add a snap of ginger and pepper to a dry finish. Disappears as quickly as frost in the sunlight!
Blanche de Chambly – Witbier – Unibroue, Chambly, Quebec, Canada – Pearlescent “chill haze” of lemon yellow settles beneath a Herculean head of blinding white. A sophisticated profile of fresh malt, crisp citrus, and hoppy spice. Amazing!
Hitachino Nest Weizen – Hefe Weizen – Kiuchi Brewery, Ibaraki-ken Naka-gun, Japan – Cloudy pale, pear-yellow body with jumbo head of flaming white. This is light bodied with an immediate fruit greeting that succumbs to the allure of tart zest, bananas, and yeasty mustiness that beckons you to ask for more.
High Rollers Wheat – Hefe Weizen – Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boonville, California – Softened Amber gold with capsizingly white head of monumental proportions, followed by a gauzy, voile-haze of lace that drapes the glass. Gentle sweet wheat malts, with earthy honey and cobwebs of delicate tang. This is crisp and dry, with an enormous thirst quenching talent.
Are you confident enough to be a Woman of Witte?
You may wish to add a bit of class when serving beer. This classic set is a great starting point. You may also wish to seek out Stemmed Pilsners or Wheat Beer Glasses before expanding to Champagne Flutes or Digestive Glasses.
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This content was written by Carolyn Smagalski. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Carolyn Smagalski for details.