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The Upsides of Germany

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I decided to break out of my hefeweizen rut tonight and give a stab at something darker (the steak just seemed to call for a darker beer). I asked the waiter for his recommendation and he came back with a Grimbergen Optimo Bruno.

I didn't realize until later, when looking it up on Ye Olde Interwebe, that it's actually Belgian and not strictly German. I am, however, willing to forgive that grave transgression, because it's one hell of a good beer.

It's definitely dark, but not excessively thick or heavy. The flavour is subtle; it wasn't actually until my second beer that I realized just how much detail and nuance was available. Until then I'd been ready to write it off as a rather mediocre brew, but I guess something about the after-dinner atmosphere and gentle settling of the palate brought up the richness. I'd definitely recommend enjoying this brew slowly after a meal, maybe with a little bit of white chocolate for contrast; drinking too quickly or between bites of food (especially strongly flavoured food like steak) will obliterate the details of the beer.

At 10% ABV, this sucker's a powerful beer, which explains the rather diminuitive serving size. It may also have had something to do with the uncomfortable warmth of the hotel room after the meal.

It seems to be rather hard to come by outside the region, but if you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it. If not... it's absolutely worth the trip to Europe for a couple of bottles.
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Belgian beer is better than German beer anyway. Too bad I can find (practically) neither in the US :(

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That sounds really good. I routinely drink Guinness, which is apparently too thick and lustrous for my friends (who often complain that I'm drinking Jello).

I would imagine a quality pile of Belgian liquor would be even thicker and smoother.

I've always wanted to visit Germany for the beer and steak entertainment; some small pub with nice dark stones and subtle lighting would be pretty nice to drink at.

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