Beer and Belgium go together like baseball and hotdogs in the United States. For such a small country, Belgium produces an amazingly wide range of beers and many of the best in the world. However, you don’t have to go to Belgium to drink great Belgian beers. You simply need to go to The Globe, on historic Main Street in Garden Grove, CA.
My beautiful wife and I visited The Globe on June 25 as the day’s finale to our 30th Wedding Anniversary celebration. Seventeen Belgian beers on tap (and one from the Netherlands) and another 18 different bottled Belgian beers greeted us, as well as, the The Globe’s friendly and gracious proprietors – Michael and Marijke Pauwels. Turns out that June 25 is also Michael’s and Marijke’s Wedding Anniversary. Happy 23rd!
Michael and Marijke are both from Belgium and The Globe’s ambiance reflects that heritage. I observed that each customer received personal and friendly attention from the owners to ensure the very best dining and drinking experience. In addition, Michael is very knowledgeable about Belgian beer and has set very high standards for the beers served. Any beer found at The Globe is 1) highly rated at beer review sites such as Beeradvocate or Ratebeer, 2) fresh, 3) served in the proper brewery glass, and 4) served at the correct temperature. The Globe’s “Beer Bible” provides a description for each beer, including a QR code for every beer on tap so you can scan the code with your smart phone and read the brewery’s website in English. The Globe conducts periodic rotations of some beer selections so be certain to check their website for the latest tap and beer list, as well as, their event calendar to learn about special events.
Since this was my first visit, I decided to take advantage of The Globe’s beer sampler offering of 4 ounces each of any 4 beers on tap. I had two samplers. Michael’s expertise was invaluable and he became my beer tour guide for the evening. My tasting notes follow:
Saison Dupont – Located in Tourpes, the Dupont Brewery has been brewing beer since 1844. Saisons are sturdy farmhouse ales and historically, as noted on the Saison Dupont website, “… this beer was brewed in the winter, to be drunk in the following summer by the workers (seasonworkers) on the fields.” My Saison Dupont poured with a blond/orange color. The beer had a white head and a mild malty/citrus/yeasty aroma. The beer is light to medium bodied and flavors of malt, citrus, and hay were present with a very mild hop bitterness and dry finish. This is the perfect beer after a hot summer day of work.
Saison Dupont Dry Hop 2013 – This beer is similar in appearance and style to the Saison Dupont, except for a very pronounced up front hop aroma and taste bitterness. There is also a slight increase in a peppery spice that compliments the malt and citrus flavors. The hop bitterness doesn’t linger and the beer finishes wonderfully crisp and dry.
La Chouffe – Located in the Belgian Ardennes, Achouffe Brewery has acquired a devoted following of beer fans (many wearing red gnome hats) who recognize great beer. La Chouffe is a Belgian strong pale ale that is the spearhead product of this brewery. My La Chouffe poured a hazy golden straw color with a brilliant white head. The beer exuded spicy hop aroma. The beer is light in body and effervescent. Flavors of coriander and fruit cuddle your taste buds, with a peppery spice and light hop finish. La Chouffe is delicious! At 8% ABV, after a couple of beers you may buy a red gnome hat too.
Urthel Hop-It – Inspired by hoppy beers from the United States, Urthel Hop-It is a Belgian IPA. This beer pours with a pale straw blond color and white head. The aroma is sweet with spicy/herbal hops. Urthel Hop-It is full-bodied with flavors of mild citrus fruit, earth, peppery spice, and bitter hops. The beer has a spicy dry finish with lingering hop bitterness. This beer is well-balanced and offers a unique and delicious IPA flavor profile that hides the 9.5% ABV.
Scaldis Ambree – A product of Dubuisson Brewery, Scaldis Ambree pours a copper gold color with a white head. My beer had a subtle malty and sweet aroma. Scaldis Ambree is full-bodied and rich. Sweet caramel honey and malty flavors exude as well as intense alcohol warmth (the beer is 12% ABV). This flavor is then followed by a pleasant hops bitterness. This beer is an after dinner drink. Sip slowly to fully enjoy.
Straffe Hendrik Quad – De Halve Maan (The Half Moon) is a family brewery in Bruges. Six generations of family members have operated this brewery since its current inception (the brewery itself actually dates further back). Straffe Hendrik Quad pours a coffee color with a whitish beige head. The beer has a sweet caramel and raisin aroma. Straffe Hendrik Quad has a medium body. The beer tastes of raisins and figs, malt, and roasted nuts with alcohol warmth (from the 11% ABV). The low carbonation and flavors offer a delicious way to end any evening.
La Trappe Quad – Located in The Netherlands, the Koningshoeven brewery of La Trappe brews their Trappist Ales and La Trappe Quadrupel is their heaviest beer. The beer pours an amber and copper color with a white head. La Trappe Quad offers subtle aromas of dark fruit and malt. The beer is full-bodied and tastes of sweet caramel malt, raisins and figs, and very mild bitterness. It finishes with distant hints of spices and a definite alcohol warmth (10% ABV).
St. Bernardus Abt 12 – This beer pours a hazy dark coffee color with a tan head. St. Bernardus Abt 12 has aromas of malt and clove. The beer is full-bodied, creamy, and complex in flavors with a small amount of alcohol heat. Clove is the most prevalent flavor followed by malt and grapes. The beer has a malty finish with alcohol warmth.
Overall we had a delightful evening at The Globe, including delicious meals, great beers, and wonderful hosts that made us feel we were in Belgium. I look forward to going back regularly and getting further acquainted with Michael and Marijke Pauwels. And a big thanks to my wonderful wife who suggested this outing.