Why shouldn’t he? Â He gave it to me. Â He’s the one who introduced me to craft beer.
Our 14th anniversary is coming up this Spring. Â Beyond that, 2013 marks the 16th year that we’ve known each other. Â In our 16 years as a couple, I think we’ve made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day twice…maybe three times. Â We’re just not big Valentine’s Day people. Â Needless to say, our conversation over breakfast yesterday went something like this:
The Mr: Â “Did you get me a valentine?”
Me: Â “Oooh…today is Valentine’s Day, isn’t it?”
The Mr: “Sure is.”
Me: Â “Well then, no, I didn’t get you a valentine. Â Did you get me one?”
The Mr: Â “Nope. Â What do you want to do?”
Me: “NoDa’s releasing a special Valentine’s Day beer. Â Want to go get one when the tap room opens?”
The Mr: Â “Are you sure that’s all you want to do for Valentine’s Day?”
Me: Â “Why not? Â I love you. Â You love me. Â We love beer. “
The Mr. Â “Point taken.”
Truth be told, whether we had other Valentine’s Day plans or exchanged gifts or not, I had been plotting since October to head out toÂ NoDa Brewing CoÂ on Valentine’s Day. Â Last October we were out at NoDa for a Beer and Cheese Pairing hosted by Chad, the head brewer. Â Sadly, I never got around to actually blogging about that event. Â I did, however, learn that a nice Gouda can really take the edge off of the hoppiest of IPAs. Â The Mr is the “hophead” in the family, not me. Â But apparently, if I’ve got a wedge of Gouda and stack of crackers, I could polish off a pint of an IPA very easily.
Anyway…while at the Beer and Cheese Pairing, Chad told us about his planned Valentine’s Day release – a Belgian style Quadruple called MÃ©nage a QuÃ d.
TheÂ MÃ©nage a QuÃ d is part of NoDa’s “NoDable Series,” unique small batch beers “that otherwise would not be possible on a larger scale”Â released only in the tap room each week. Â Good news is that if these beers are successful then the brewers may add them to their regular menu. Â Bad news is they won’t let you growler them and take home.
For those of you who don’t know what a Belgian Quad is, here’s how I understand it. Â Belgian Dubbels, Tripels, and Quadruples were originally reserved for Abbey brewed ales. Â However, over the years, secular breweries (particularly in the U.S.) have started trying their hands at it. Â Â Basically, these three brews are distinguished by the number of times they are put through the fermentation process with the “quad” going through a total of four fermentations and resulting in the richest, strongest, and most complex flavors and highest alcohol content of the three. Â Typically quads are high in malts with background yeast tastes and notes of fruits and chocolate with alcohol contents trending towards 10% or more. Â (In the interest of full disclosure, I did a bit of internet research on these distinctions and found the simplest most straightforward answer inÂ this blog postÂ from theÂ Dallas Beer Snobs.)
I took a few notes after our conversation with Chad in October, but it’s been several months since I’ve looked at them. (So, Chad, if you ever read this and I have gotten it wrong, please forgive and correct me.) Â If I deciphered my notes correctly theÂ MÃ©nage a QuÃ d was brewed using the same yeasts as the Westmalle beers and was aged in red wine barrels. Â The Mr and I thought we tasted raspberry and chocolate notes as we sipped our snifters. Â The “sipping” was our attempt to savor it, because this baby was smooth enough that it could have gone down MUCH faster. Â Savoring was required because, much to our chagrin, NoDa limited patrons to two each in tap room on the night of the release. Â Despite our sadness at the limitation, Â with the MÃ©nage weighing in at 11.2%, it was probably for the best.
As I sat sipping, making the low pitched murmurs of yummied satisfaction, I noticed The Mr staring at me and smirking. Â “I should have known the way to your heart would be through beer,” he laughed. Â “You + me + 2 beers = a mÃ©nage a quÃ d.” Â Like I said at the top, my husband thinks my beer belly is sexy.
Who needs a Valentine’s Day mÃ©nage a troix when you can have a NoDa MÃ©nage a QuÃ d? 😉