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Brasserie d’Achouffe McChouffe

May 3, 2010

Brewery: Brasserie D’Achouffe
McChouffe, on draft
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Map Room, Chicago

They say not to mix business with pleasure, and I’ve always subscribed to keeping work and personal life separate. But that may be changing for a few reasons. First of all, in today’s increasingly freelance / e-commute / contract worker economy (well, at least in my field), that line is constantly blurred. There’s really no such thing as “work hours” or “free time”. If you are pursuing your passion, you’re never “off”. Complementary though, a mobile workforce allows for flexible scheduling during the typical workday.

And that’s why I’m writing this in a bar, the very first of a few informal meetings I hope to be hosting here at the Map Room. I’m billing it as a New Media Studies study table / coworking session and inviting people from my graduate program to converse ideas about anything media related. Professionals in a social setting, talking about their profession, socially. Follow that, and you get the idea.

Since it’s $1 off Belgians today, I’m rockin’ the McChouffe ale.

It pours a hearty brown color with a frothy off-white head. The head sticks around for quite a while, leaving a good bit of lacing that hangs around through the entire beer. The taste is pretty hearty – nicely spiced, but not overbearing. The Belgian yeast strains are smooth and subtle as well, but still weigh on the palate like a Belgian should.

The interesting thing about this one is that the flavor changes very little with the temperature. I sipped this one slowly (I mean, I did bike here after all) and warming doesn’t bring out any overly sweet flavors, extra spices, or even a different mouthfeel. This is neither good nor bad in my book; it’s just different.

Final verdict: Since I’ll be here every Monday for $1 off Belgians, I can see the McChouffe as a standby. I’d definitely buy it again.

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