The most extraordinary thing to ever happen in Lovell, Maine prior to 2004 was an accident involving author Stephen King, a book, an unruly canine and a careless driver. In 1999, the royal ambassador of conventional horror fiction was struck by a vehicle while walking along a roadside in this small New England town. King was reading a book at the time of the incident. Ironic, right? Allegedly, the driver of the minivan was distracted by an unrestrained dog bouncing around in the rear of the vehicle. I wish that I were joking. Other than the town’s population topping 1000, nothing monumental has happened in Lovell since it’s settlement in 1777.

However, in 2004, an ambitious couple began a journey that would bring significance back to this sleepy little northeast town. Chris and Jen Lively purchased Ebenezer’s Pub with the intent of creating a world-class beer destination. **Disclaimer: This is not a travel piece. Rather, I write that you may be aware of America’s best secret place.** Anyhow, I will only mention a couple of Ebenezer’s highlights and will then leave you to research this Beer-Mecca at your leisure. First, Ebenezer’s Pub boasts an astounding thirty-five Belgian beers on tap. Yes, thirty-five. Secondly, Chris Lively is said to have over one half of a million dollars worth of bottled beer in the cellar below his Pub. What? That is incredible.  Lastly, Ebenezer’s is located in a place renowned for it’s outdoorsy appeal.  I believe you can rent a canoe in Lovell, Maine.  It’s the perfect vacation spot.  Trust me.

If you’re reading this and you understand the value of a place like Ebenezer’s (and you are financially fortunate), please consider sending me to Lovell.  I promise that I will appreciate your kindness.  And I promise that I will run up your tab at the bar.  But, know this…  Without your help, I may never be able to visit this world famous beer bar.  And I could die without having tasted a Belgian beer in the very same town that Stephen King was hit by a doggy-disturbed driver, while reading a book (really, how funny is that).

Check out Ebenezer’s for yourself.  Their website is http://www.ebenezerspub.net

Duvel’s Belgian Golden Ale

Posted: July 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

I must begin with a confession.  After having purchased this beer from a shade-tree package store, I nearly decided to return it and buy a lottery ticket.  Nothing about this transaction seemed encouraging and my impression of this golden brew was, at first, a very bad one.  An attempt at finding a quality brew at a rural North Georgia beer store can be disheartening.  Chances are, if you are able to buy anything outside of what is advertised during the Super Bowl, you have probably forgotten about the rabbit’s foot in your coat pocket.  Or, you will soon hear an alarm clock and realize that you were dreaming.  Needless to say, I pulled into this “American Owned and Operated” beer-mart hoping to find a beverage worthy of riding beside me on my way home.  After being greeted by a ‘gentleman’ wearing a t-shirt donning a half-dressed woman holding a largemouth bass, I smiled and asked to be pointed in the direction of his most esteemed beer.  Apparently, he had a sense of humor and recommended a six-pack of Bud Light.  For the remainder of my time in that filthy little store, I asked no more questions.  As I perused the coolers, I noticed a four-pack of beer.  Interesting.  The bottles were dusty.  I checked the date on the packaging and removed it from the cooler.  The man behind the counter looked down at the beer, back up at me, and asked “Are you sure that you want this beer.  I’ve never sold it to anyone.”  I replied “Yes, I rather like the shape of the bottle.”  I rarely employ sarcasm towards anyone working behind a counter, but, I grinned wildly as he shook his little country head.  I wanted this beer the minute I noticed the word ‘Belgian’ on the label and the date 1871.

On the drive home, I wondered whether or not I had made a wise decision.  Well, the verdict is in.  I am lovingly renaming this Belgian beauty “The Blonde Bombshell”.  Well after supper, when the crickets began their music and the nighttime air settled around my front porch, I popped open this white labeled little ale.  Because I have no formal training in the art of beer testing, I poured it into a tall, clear glass.  There likely is a name for this type of glass.  I do not know it.  Anyhow, be prepared to be frustrated with your pouring abilities if you’ve never poured this beer before.  It requires patience.  The head is thick and off-white.  I believe that I waited nearly five minutes before I was able to taste the ale without wearing it in my mustache.  It is a delightful and beautiful beer!  Bubbles tumbled upward and disappeared into that foamy hat nearly the entire sitting.  It smells like summertime and has a distinct Belgian flavor.  The alcohol volume is a hearty 8.5% – which is just right before bed.  Actually, this beer is just right anytime.  I’ve not met a golden ale that compares to Duvel’s Belgian.  Although, I would gladly welcome one into my home and onto my front porch swing.

Bottom Line:  Go buy this beer.  Enjoy it with friends.  You will not be disappointed with this rich and bold aromatic ale.