Glassware: Belgian beers have a very distinctive aroma that is the centerpiece of many. 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 is the best selection such as a tulip glass, chalice, snifter or over sized wine glass.
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 present, but do not dominate but find perfect balance within the beer. The medium body and carbonation is perfect for the style and gives the beer its world class drinkabilty factor. Merry Monks is a great beer for all beer lovers!
Food Pairing: Merry Monks is a unique beer in that it is very light appearing with its fruit notes. It is rich with a wonderful malt punch. This is a beer that can find itself at home with a light salad or with 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 enhance the wonderful fruit notes of the yeast in Merry Monks. 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 pairs great with desserts, but goes especially well with warm peach cobbler topped with creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Merry Monks is a perfect beer for any New Year’s Eve celebration as it can be paired perfectly with light appetizers to hearty main courses, just keep the higher ABV in mind.
The Final Word: Weyerbacher is one of Pennsylvania’s best brewery’s 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 expanded slowly with many great new beers added to its portfolio, but Merry Monks was one of its first beers and proof they knew what they were doing from the start. Many American breweries have brewed Belgian styled beers with mixed results, but the authentic Tripel that Merry Monks possesses takes it to the top of the list. The crisp flavor, rich malts, and light aroma make this a beer that is a must have all year. Merry Monks is a perfect beer to do some aging experiments to see how the flavors develop. This is a great beer for a New Year’s Eve celebration.
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