How to Pour a Chimay Beer

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Pouring Chimay is a skill, not an art -- the beer is the art. Chimay beer is produced according to monastic tradition -- brewed within the confines of a Trappist monastery in Belgium with each step of the process monitored by resident monks. Chimay is regarded for its citric, fruity notes and earthy character, but its most remarkable quality -- contingent on proper pouring for full enjoyment -- is its robust head. Creamy, fluffy and thick, the head of a rightfully poured Chimay settles like a lazy sundown -- slowly waning while leaving just enough trace of itself for a memorable experience.

Things You'll Need

  • Chimay chalice or chalice glass
  • Bottle opener (optional)
  • Set the Chimay bottle on the table, grasping it where the neck meets the shoulder. If the bottle has a crown cap, gently pry it off using a bottle opener, taking care not to move or disturb the bottle.

    If the Chimay has a cork stopper, twist the wire ties of the muselet -- the "cage" that surrounds the cork, also seen on champagne bottles -- and remove it from the bottle. Grasp the cork and rotate it gently while lifting it to uncork the Chimay. Let the Chimay sit for a few seconds to release the initial pressurization gasses.

  • Grasp the glass at the point the stem meets the bottom of the bowl, or the portion that holds the beer. Tilt the glass at a 45-degree angle.

  • Hold the bottle of Chimay about 1 to 1 1/2 inches above the rim of the glass and tilt it to pour; aim the pour at the center of the bowl.

  • Pour until the Chimay reaches the halfway point of the bowl, then slowly begin to return the glass to the upright position. The head starts to form when you start to turn the glass upright.

  • Continue pouring the Chimay until it achieves a 1- to 1 1/2-inch head; a little less than 1/4 inch -- or 1 centimeter -- will remain in the bottle. Pull the bottle away immediately when it reaches the 1-centimeter level. The last centimeter of Chimay contains unsavory, grainy sediment.

  • Set the glass on the table. Grasp the stem and swirl the Chimay for 2 to 3 seconds and let it settle. Lift the glass to just under your nose; inhale deeply through the nose with slightly opened lips. The aroma will prime the olfactory senses and the palate for the first drink.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are four bottled varieties of Chimay -- Red Cap, Triple, Blue Cap and Gold. You pour each using the same technique.
  • Chimay Red Cap and Chimay Blue Cap serve best when chilled to between 50 and 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Chimay Triple and Chimay Gold serve best when chilled between 42.8 F and 46.4 F.
  • You can serve all Chimay varieties up to 5 degrees colder than their suggested serving temperatures without loss of bouquet.
  • If you have trouble pulling the cork from the Chimay by hand, use a wine key.

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  • Photo Credit Bombaert/iStock/Getty Images
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