TMS Beer Project: Hoegaarden

June 17, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We also like to plagiarize each other. In the same vein as the Wrigleyville Bar Project, we are proud to bring you another installment of the TMS Beer Project. The premise is simple: we review beers. Each rating will feature a variety of scores from 1-10 and comments from the bartender. This is a public service damn it. We don't want you to be the sucker who pays $15 for a six pack of some overrated Belgian cat piss. Now, we all drink massive amounts of beer so we know what we speak of. Each of us seem to have a favorite style of beer though. Will we be reviewing macrobrews like Bud and Coors? Oh you bet your Aunt Susie's ass we will. For purposes of this science experiment, and it is in the name of science, those will be the "control" group. Use them as a base line for when we review lesser known imports and microbrews. Without further ado, I bring you our next beer:


Brewery: Brouwerij van Hoegaarden, Hoegaarden, Belgium

Type: Witbier

Receptacle: 12 ounce bottle poured into a glass

Drinkability (1 being Jim Jones' kool-aid, 10 being the nectar of the gods): 8, I've never been a real big fan of the Belgian white beers (I'm not counting Blue Moon, although if you are drinking that stuff you better be female or Chaim Witz). I'm talking about the real Belgian witbier. The stuff that's usually an unfiltered wheat with orange peel and coriander and some other crazy spices those wacky Belgians like to toss in. For me the overabundance of coriander generally turns me off to this style of brew. However Hoegaarden gets it right. There's the nice, light taste of the wheat with the hint of citrusy orange. Then the coriander is casually joining the party at the end, but he's just walking over to the corner of the room to make friendly conversation, not like some Belgian whites I had where coriander kicks down the door, suckerpunches you in the sternum, steals your wallet and gives your sister herpes. No this coriander is much more subtle and acceptable in modern society. I'd let it walk my dog or mow my lawn with no worries.

Heartiness (1 being fresh mountain spring water, 10 being a pureed British steak infected with mad cow disease): 3, A hearty beer it is not, which is fine. You're not looking for something heavy to make you feel like you just drank a Hungry Man TV dinner. This is a light ideal beer for hot midwest summer days. In fact this is the good summer beer you can drink year round, unlike some of those special "summer brews" you folks clamor for when it's in season.

Intoxication (1 being your friend's weird pentecostal grandmother high on Jesus, 10 being Boris Yeltsin on a week long bender in the Crimea): 6, At only 4.9% ABV, Hoegaarden packs a healthy amount of alcohol like a traditional American macro would. Nice enough to get a good buzz going on your back deck but not so strong that you pass out in the sun and wind up burning like John Candy in 'Summer Rental.'

Celebrities You May See Drinking This Brew: Herman Van Rompuy, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, Dr. Evil, Gerardus Mercator, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters.

Affordability ($ being chicklets in Tijuana, $$$$ being diamond encrusted braised lamb shank from a trendy cafe on the Champs d'Elysee): $$$, I honestly can't remember how much I spent on this. I guess whatever your standard price for a six pack of European import beer is probably what it's going to run you.

Overall: 8.5, I have come to quite enjoy Hoegaarden (it's pronounced Hoo-garden for those of you that have made numerous "hooker farm" jokes by this point). It's not going to be a regular in my fridge any time soon but for a hot summer day outside I would highly recommend it.