One of our favorite styles is the Belgian Trappist inspired Quadruple Ale, or Belgian Quad. Our version goes by the name West Floridian . It follows tradition by being a dark crimson ale that pours with a nice lingering head. The aroma is sweet with hints of dark fruits, such as plums, raisins, and figs. The flavor follows the aroma with a very mild bitterness that complements the rich, dark fruit character. It has a medium body with a slight creamy character and finishes with some residual sweetness.
This style can be intimidating for a newly-converted craft beer drinker, but rest assured, it’s an easy sell. There is one caveat—they are higher alcohol brews. If properly balanced, the alcohol is hidden in the rich flavor. When we are converting a light beer drinker in our tasting room, we’ll start at both ends of the spectrum. Crisp and clean to big and bold. A West Floridian would be the big and bold end of the spectrum. Very few decide it’s too much for them.
Now that you know what a Quad is, when should you order one? Unless you are dying of thirst from a hot Florida afternoon, you can order a Quad at any time. Cooler evenings or happy hours are my favorite time to drink a West Floridian. Belgian Quads are excellent dinner companions, pairing well with red meats and most desserts. Since it is a heavier beer, plan on slowly enjoying it. This allows time for the beer to warm up a bit, unlocking additional flavors. Enjoying a couple of West Floridians with friends will lead to philosophical questions, bad jokes, and the best of times. The most important thing is to try one!
This is a staple at Infinite Ale Works. Our Belgian Witbier, lovingly nicknamed Witfinite, is light, clean, and crisp. We balance our flavors with a touch of hops, citrus, and coriander notes. Brewed with wheat, it has a slight haze. When a light beer drinker comes in wanting to try something new, this is usually where we steer them first.
Wit biers are perfectly simple in nature. It is a go-to any time, any place. I can have several without having trouble finishing the last few ounces in a pint. They are usually average to low alcohol content, which allows someone to have a couple before reaching the point of having too many.
Also, look for variations to the style. Several breweries—including us—apply different fruit treatments to a wit bier. We take it a step further and offer a kettle-soured version, but we’ll cover that in a later post.
Once you have had a few of these, you’ll be able to pick out the things you like most in the style. We recommend having a couple outdoors, preferably in the fall or spring. The perfect day for us is when the air is crisp, the warm sun is shining, and a refreshing Witfinite Wit Bier is in our glass.