Belgian Lace and Beer – The Connection

Belgian lace rings

It was the strangest thing I had heard.

Sitting with new friends at Triple Dog Brewery in Havre, someone excitedly said – hey look, it’s perfect Belgian lace! I had no idea what she was talking about.

My lesson came next.

An empty glass of beer sat at a nearby table. I turned to look and there were about nine rings of beer foam circling the glass forming what really did look like lace!

The story I soon heard was that certain beers, probably something a bit darker or heavier than what I drink, can form the lacy look as you drink the beverage. That was exactly what I was seeing at the nearby table and it looked pretty cool.

My visit to Triple Dog Brewery obviously taught me about the lace phenomenon but I learned more about the brewery. Brewmaster Michael Garrity started brewing in his garage at age 19. At age 21 he knew he wanted to open

Michael Garrity, brewmaster at Triple Dog Brewery

a brewery and the idea came to fruition. The facility has expanded a couple of times to accommodate the growing business.

Beers on tap included Duck Face IPA, Fresno Wheat (named for a local reservoir that is amazing for boating, fishing and kayaking), Bears Paw Belgian Wit (named for the island mountain range that is visible to the south of Havre) and Dumpster Diver Stout (I didn’t ask!). There are more beers, also special releases, but my favorite was Fresno Wheat.

Local products are used – obviously this area grows a lot of small grains including wheat and barley and there is a malt plant an hour and a half away.

The evening I was at Triple Dog the crowd was incredibly diverse. Early on there were young kids playing at a back table, then older couples, then the after five working crowd stopped in.There is an outdoor patio and in warm season months they have a food truck parked near the brewery entrance. The west side of the building has hops growing, not for use in brewing, just for some ambience.

It’s definitely a community gathering place and Triple Dog is proud of their community. Their beer tag line is Havre Made, Havre Kegged, Havre Pour Me Another.

Merchandise wall at Triple Dog Brewery

One incredibly unique thing I learned (in addition to my new knowledge of Belgian lace) is that Triple Dog gives their spent grains (waste created from the brewing process) to Havre’s water treatment plant. The spent grains help normalize the phosphorus and nitrogen levels in the water, saving the city of Havre around $15,000 a year. And, that lowers the amount of chemicals needed to treat the water. A good effort, good for all.

I learned about beer and I felt like part of the community. And now, while I don’t consume a lot of beer, I can’t help but look at newly empty beer glasses to see if I can find any with Belgian lace.

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