This month we are celebrating polyamory and everything poly, which has got me reflecting on how I got to poly… I also picked a very tasty Belgian quadrupel and tripel to review, because the more the merrier!
I joined the military right out of school and that was definitely not the best environment for dating and relationships for me. Instead, I enjoyed the single life between training, working, partying, and a deployment. After I got out of the military, I serial dated my way through college with a couple different guys for varying lengths of time, but never much more than a year. Then due to my father’s ailing health, I pulled back from my social life even more for about a year. After he passed away, I was single and living alone for the first time in my life… at first, I was a little lonely, but as time went on I started to really love it. I loved the independence of doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, without having to check with anyone else. I had been in mono singles group and a guy came into the group and asked if there were any other people in the group that were in open relationships… I couldn’t believe the responses… they practically crucified the guy! On his way out of the group, he dropped a post about a new local group that he had started for poly people. I had a vague idea about poly from my Sesso swinger days with a former partner but wasn’t sure exactly what it meant. I joined that group and right away met friendly, open, and accepting people. Through the group, I learned a lot about poly and how it can be different for everyone. Coming from a place of independence, I could see how having a partner that doesn’t need me to fulfill ALL of their needs, as a benefit and vice versa. But at the same time having a partner that provides the things I need, while still giving me the freedom to explore outside of our relationship was also a great benefit. I decided to go to a Sunday brunch meetup that got posted in the poly dating group and that was when I met my current partner, Michael.
Michael and I just celebrated our 2-year anniversary; last summer he, his wife, their awesome daughter, and I moved in together. I didn’t just gain a partner, I gained a family… and while things aren’t always easy, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. To quote Michael, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” How our relationship has evolved is a story for another day, and really is almost an article within itself.
Thank you for listening to my story and don’t forget to check out these “poly” Belgians…
Bourbon Barrel Quad
Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City, MO
Abbey-Style Quadrupel | 11.2% ABV | 26 IBUs
Boulevard Brewing separated their quad into multiple oak bourbon barrels where they were aged for different lengths of time up to three years. To supplement the angel’s share, cherries were added, then the best mix of barrels were combined to get the final flavor. The only part of the beer that I can find any cherry is in the aroma as I go in for a sip. The beginning is very boozy tasting and that is also where the smoky bourbon flavor resides. Though it starts out very boozy it mellows out fairly quickly, ending with mild carmel and vanilla notes.
The Angel’s Share is the alcohol that evaporates “heaven-ward” during the barrel aging process through the porous wood the barrels or casks are made of.
New Belgium Brewing Company Fort Collins, Colorado
Belgian Tripel | 8.5% ABV | 43 IBUs
New Belgium Brewing tweaked their tried-and-true Trippel recipe a few years back, adding a new yeast with a bigger maltier bouquet. The beginning malt is sweet with a light carmely flavor that blends into a citrusy middle, which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, the end is a little less enjoyable for my tastebuds; the mellow citrus flavor that was so great with the maltiness in the beginning to middle, blends into a fairly dry back end caused by the Noble hops, which enunciates the citrus in a less than flattering way, making the beer quite dry at the end. If you like IPA’s and pale ales, then this tripel and most others will more than likely be something that you like. Don’t let the low IBUs fool you…the citrus blended with the noble hops gives it a much higher bounce for your ounce than one might expect.
The thing I love about belgians is the complex flavors and depths, even between the different types there is a lot of variety. In that way belgians are definitely similar to polyamory. Everyone does poly differently and even if my poly is different from your poly we still have that in common.