Tag Archives: Belgian Golden Strong Ale

2017 Advent Calendar – Day 22 – Bridge Brewing Santa’s Sac

Image result for bridge brewing company

So, I’m leaving for Hawaii. I’ve got all the beers for the rest of the Calendar tasted and I’m scheduling some posts to happen while I’m away enjoying the beach. So, you can expect this weekend to see some Hawaiian check-ins coming your way. Let’s just hope my one-year old daughter enjoys the long plane ride…

Today we have a beer from Bridge Brewing Company located in North Vancouver, BC.  The beer is called Santa’s Sac and is a Belgian Golden Strong Ale.

Bridge Brewing Company opened in 2012 as Vancouver’s first nano-brewery. Bridge was housed in a 1,000 sq/ft space and was brewing beer in 800 litre batches. Craft beer drinkers loved their beers and they’ve been working hard to expand production as much as possible to meet their demand. They have since expanded their brew house and brought on some help in order to meet the demand for their beers.

What is interesting about Bridge Brewing is that they are committee trying to be a zero-waste brewery. At present, they are 99% waste free. As they brew in small batches their hops and grains in small quantities so that they make sure they get the most use out of them. This also helps them ensure high quality standards in all their batches of beer.

Speaking of beer, they brew quite a lot of different styles from year-rounds, their iron-worker series, as well as seasonal beers.  The beer we are having today is from the Seasonal selection and sounds pretty tasty.  I’ve had the opportunity to try another one of their season beers, their Uganda Sipi Coffee Brown Ale and I thought it was pretty good.

Belgian Golden Strong Ales are pale, complex, effervescent and highly attenuated Belgian styles of beer. They bring big fruity notes along with hoppy notes and phenolics from the yeast. Interestingly, there are many references to the devil in the naming of this style of beer. This is due to the high alcohol content and a tribute to the original example of this style (Duvel). The best examples are highly complex and delicate with the carbonation bringing out the flavours. I’m excited as I’ve come to rather enjoy Golden Strong Ales. Let’s get to it.

Appearance – Pours a cloudy golden colour almost like honey with a thin white head.
Smell – Fruit forward on the nose with some dark fruit like plums along with some pepper, citrus and Belgian yeast notes.
Taste – Flavour brings some honey notes along with hints of banana, toffee, candied sugar, bubblegum, and a slight alcohol warming.
Mouthfeel – Nice medium mouthfeel with some candied sweetness on the finish. Not overly sweet and with a balanced alcohol presence.
Overall – Quite a nice Golden Strong Ale. It brings some nice flavour notes from the Belgian yeast along with some good candied sweetness that isn’t overly cloying. It’s got a good alcohol warmth that isn’t too pervasive. The Alcohol is well hidden.
Do I like it? – Yes, I do. I enjoyed this beer. I am becoming more of a fan of some of these Belgian styles that I don’t too often get to drink. This was a nice beer for day 22.

Day 24 – White Pony – December Flower


So, I want to apologize for the formatting of these write-ups. Being away for holidays means I’m writing on my phone. Transferring from Word to WordPress apparently leaves behind all the formatting. So, I’ll add hyperlinks when I get home. I’ll also be doing the wrap-up once I get back so look for that.
I can’t believe we are on the last beer. It’s been a great calendar this year. What’s been fun is looking back at old posts and realizing how much I’ve learned about beer and beer styles. My old posts seem a bit goofy. Our last beer comes to us from White Pony Microbrewery located in Padova, Italy.

White Pony was founded as an experiment for an Italian son of an Italian-Belgian family. Unable to find a job that would meet his need for experimentation, creativity and knowledge, he decided to create on for himself. They entered their first beer, prophet bourbon réserva, into the Kerst Bier festival in 2013 and placed in the top 10. In 2014 they entered the beer we have today, December Flower, and three others into the same competition that were all rated in the top 50 Italian beers. They’ve continued to win medals and awards for their beers and have continued experimenting and growing their styles.

Now producing 18 beers they continue to experiment with limited release beers and seasonal trying to push their creativity and build their brewing knowledge.

December flower is a Belgian golden strong ale brewed with a lot of candies sugar, orange peel, and two strains of yeast. It is then dry-hopped and a second addition of orange peel and coriander is added. Combined with the yeast waters this beer is meant to bring big fruity flavours and a nice warming quality for the cold winter nights.

Belgian Golden Strong Ales are pale, complex, effervescent and highly attenuated Belgian styles of beer. They bring big fruity notes along with hoppy notes and phenolic from the yeast. Interestingly, there are many references to the devil in he naming of this style of beer. This is due to the high alcohol content and a tribute to the original example of this style (Duvel). The best examples are highly complex and delicate with the carbonation bringing out the flavours. I’m excited as it’s the last beer and I’m hoping it’s a delicious one.

Appearance – Pours a golden effervescent colour with no head.

Smell – Floral notes, orange, yeast, candy sugar and subtle coriander.

Taste – sweet candy, orange, subtle coriander and pepper note with an alcohol warmth.

Mouth feel – effervescent, light bodied with an alcohol warmth on finish.

Overall – Good Belgian style strong ale. Flavours are nice and fruity with a good alcohol warmth. The champagne yeast brings an effervescence which makes some of those fruit notes pop.

Do I like it? – I did. It was nice and fruity and crisp. Good alcohol warmth and nice candied notes. Overall a good finish to the calendar.