Glassware: Belgian beers have a very distinctive aroma that is the centerpiece for many of them and Merry Monks is no different. Glassware that helps trap the inviting aroma and allows the beer to warm very slowly is an absolute must. Any type of stemware such as a tulip glass, chalice, snifter or over sized wine glass, is the best selection
Description: Merry Monks pours a bright golden straw hue with frothy white head that dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing behind. The aroma is very Belgian yeast forward with notes of banana and pear being the most dominate with backing notes of spices and grain. The taste brings sweet malts to the forefront followed by bananas, pears and hints of apples from the yeast with a crisp yet creamy carbonation. The fruit flavors from the yeast are certainly present, but do not dominate. They find perfect balance within the beer. The medium body and carbonation are perfect for the style and give the beer its world class drinkabilty factor.
Food Pairing: Merry Monks is a unique beer. It appears light with its fruit notes, but also is rich with a wonderful malt punch. This is a beer at home with a light salad or a hearty roast. If you are looking for a lighter food pairing, try it with a citrus infused shrimp salad with a fruit-based dressing. While the hearty malt punch coats the food, it matches perfectly and the citrus notes from the salad which enhance the fruit notes of the yeast. During the cold winter months, nothing is more enjoyable than a warm, rich and hearty meal and if you are having roasted chicken, be sure to have some Merry Monks on hand. The natural sweetness and caramelization of the roasted chicken will melt into the succulent and sweet malts of the beer. Merry Monks makes a great pairing with desserts, and goes well with warm peach cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream.
The Final Word: Weyerbacher is one of Pennsylvania’s best breweries and with beers like Merry Monks it is easy to see how that occurred. The brewery, located in Easton, is a short drive from NEPA and a must visit for all craft beer fans. They have been expanding slowly over the years with many new beers being added to its portfolio, but Merry Monks was one of its first beers and proof it’s doing something right. Many American breweries have brewed Belgian style beers with mixed results, but the authentic tripel that Merry Monks is, takes it to the top of the list. The crisp flavor, rich malts and light aroma make this a must have beer all year round. Merry Monks is a great beer to do some aging experiments with to see how the flavors develop. Over time the beer dries out a bit more. Be sure to pick up a few bottles to hold onto for a year or two.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewery: Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer: Merry Monks