Reminding us that 1) beer is best when shared and 2) big beers are best for sharing, David at Musings Over a Pint posed the following question to us as this month's Session topic: What Tripel would you pick to share with that good friend, family member or lover? Beer bloggers the world over will be weighing in on this matter today; expect the roundup to be posted soon at MOAP.
I'll skirt the question a bit by offering up my initial reaction to David's query: It doesn't matter.
I'm not being flippant. What I mean by that is, I'm not so interested in what Tripel I'm sharing, but where I'm sharing it. And the "where" in this instance has simply got to be Belgium.
I was lucky enough to have visited Belgium a couple years ago. Any beer geek who hasn't been wants to go. Those who have been want to go back. And the reason is simple: Belgium's significance in the global development of brewing heritage and tradition cannot be denied, and its output ranks among the most original and revered of any of the world's major brewing regions.
So what's the best Tripel-sharing experience I can imagine? Put one in my hand, and my companion's, in Brussel's Delirium Café, or in Antwerp's Kulminator. Or on any sidewalk where you can sit at a table and watch the world go by.
Sorry if I'm being a little heavily romantic here. But when it comes to Belgian beer, there's nothing quite like enjoying it at the source, where it's fresh, delicious and plentiful. There's also an excitement that comes from knowing you're not special just because you drink Belgian beer. Once that realization hits, you know you've come to the right place.