Often revolution is sparked by existing passions roused to a boiling point by a work of art, music, or theater. Such is the case with the Belgian Revolution of 1830 in which the Belgian people rose up against the Dutch to wrestle its independence from The Netherlands in part as the result of the opera La muette de Portici. The opera dramatizes the historical uprising of Masaniello against Spanish rule in Naples in 1647.
With the aid of French intellectuals and armed forces, as well as the Catholic clergy who were against the Protestant Dutch King William I, the Belgian people fought for full independence. Because the European powers of the time feared Belgian may become a republic or get annexed to France, a monarch was found to lead the country from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in Germany. On July 21, 1831 the first Belgian king, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg was installed and the date became the Belgian National holiday known as Feestdag.
Since Belgium is known as one of the world’s greatest beer countries, it seems only fitting to celebrate their national holiday with beer-centric celebrations. Here in Jacksonville, there are several events taking place that you will not want to miss including a tasting, beer specials, and a special Bier Garden event at the Jacksonville Suns game.
The first event, takes place tomorrow night at Total Wine and More in the St. John’s Town Center with a tasting of Belgium’s top selling ale, Palm. Palm is a Belgian Pale Ale that was originally produced as competition to the pilsners and lagers that were becoming popular throughout Europe. It is described as neither heavy nor bitter with toasty malt aromas, slightly bitter orange flavors, and a tart, refreshing finish. The tasting at Total Wine will go from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
In addition to the tasting, all four European Street Cafes are celebrating with several specials. Look for beer specials on all week, a happy hour all day on Saturday, July 21 starting at 10:00 a.m. on Palm and Bright Lights White, a new Belgian-style Wit from Intuition Ale Works.
The new Belgian-style Wit from Intuition was fermented with the Celis yeast strain, the same strain used in Hoegaarden in Belgium. Ben and his crew also used a combination of Belgian Pilsner Malt, German Malted Wheat, and Munich Malt along with some flaked wheat and oats. To that grain bill, the wizards at Intuition added acidulated malt or what the Germans call Sauer Malt to give the beer a subtle tang. All the spice flavors percieved in the beer come from the yeast, as Ben says no spices were added.
Estreet is also celebrating with the popular Beer and baseball event at the Jacksonville Suns baseball game Saturday night. Every month baseball fans and beer-lovers alike can spend a night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in the European Street Café Bier Garden located in the left field area. For one low price fans can get admission to the game, all the beer you can drink and all the Estreet food, including Monster German Wieners, Estreet sandwiches and wraps, cole slaw and chips from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p. m. The price is just $20 and tickets are available at all European Street locations.
In addition, the guys out out at Engine 15 along with Carolyn Graham of Brown Distributing are planning to pull out a few surprises, Carolyn says, “It’ll be delicious, I promise.” Festivities begin at 2:00 p. m.