Brother Thelonious: A Second Favorite Beer

We’ve talked before about my love for Guinness. I only drink perhaps six glasses a year, but I love the black-and-tan that, when held up to the light, reveals itself to be a gorgeous ruby red.

And there is nothing better, after a hot day of sightseeing than a cold one of these:

I am not familiar with the Job-Recovery Ale that Frank Weathers is currently featuring, but the young people in the family do like interesting beers, so we have become familiar with IPA’s and all manner of heavy stouts and fruity lagers. When they offer me a sip, I sometimes accept and it’s usually followed by one of these expressions, and a polite, “well…enjoy that!”

But recently my son offered me a choice of several beers and — because this is exactly how easily I am swayed by marketing — I said, “oh, that label is really cool! I’ll try that!”

It really is a cool label.

But Brother Theolonious Belgian-Style Abbey Ale is more than just a pretty face. Served up to me in one of those fancy “Belgian Ale glasses” the Monk was rich, a little raisin-y; it had a heft and a fullness that suggested density, although the beer wasn’t really thick. I actually finished the thing, which I never do with any beer but Guinness. Yeah, it’s yummy.

The North Coast Brewing Company, which also makes the so-heavy-it’s-terrifying Old Rasputin makes Brother Thelonious as part of its “American Artisan Beer Series” and you can read about the beer or read about the artwork here.

There is even a Jazz CD made in honor of the beer — you can hear samples here — with 100% of sales proceeds donated to The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, “to further international Jazz education programs.”

That’s cool, too!

I thought the label was interesting, and the brew even moreso. And since I don’t much like beer in general, figured it was worth mentioning, especially if it helps keep us jazzed up!

Guinness will always be my first choice, especially on a hot day, but this is a happy second!

Kiri Te Kanawa and the Use of Art

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Christian LeBlanc

    “I don’t much like beer in general”
    May God have mercy on you.

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  • Nancy Berube

    I love Belgian Abbey beers & I am pleased shamelessly to trumpet the upcoming opening of the Spencer Trappist Brewery around this September! They got their recipes from their brother monastery in Chimay, Belgium. Check them out. They make awesome jam so I’m sure their beer will be transforming.

  • KML

    Ah, Elizabeth! A fellow Guinness lover sits here 7 months pregnant and counting down days to a cold, dark beer. I recall hearing that midwives in Ireland have been known to insist that post-labor women down a pint right after childbirth -it’s high in iron and assists with milk production. Wonder if I could get the nurses here to do the same for me?

  • leelu

    You might want to try “Xingu”, which is from Brazil. Looks a lot like Guiness, but a much different and interesting state – of flowers, almost!

  • Victor Savard

    Happy Mother’s Day Anchoress!

    Hey! A couple of our daughters are coming for a quick supper with their Mother and long story short, where can a Canadian pick UP that beer NOW?

    I hear YA! You don’t need a drink Victor!

    Not for me Anchoress, “IT” is for sinner vic cause he says that “I’M” driving his 98% cells crazy NOW!

    Go Figure folks! :)


  • bill bannon

    Trappistes Rochefort is hyper expensive and worth it if indulged rarely…$5…$6… a smaller than normal bottle. Yet it tastes like it should cost that once you try it.