Jun 22, 2012

Devils Backbone Belgian Congo

Having Devils Backbone Eight Point IPA so readily available in local grocery stores has been, for a lack of any eloquence on my part, pretty freakin’ awesome. I’ve certainly been enjoying my fair share of this tasty brew over the past couple of months. Combine that with the ever-tasty Vienna Lager and the brewery has consumed valuable shelf space in my fridge on a consistent basis.

What I’m trying to get at is that it was a no brainer that I knew I’d be drinking the brewery’s Belgian Congo when it was first announced earlier this year.

This brew is a 6.8% ABV and 50 IBU pale ale that’s been crafted with a “secret” strain Belgian yeast. The end result is a hop forward product that carries a subtle fruity character and light funkiness that reminds ever so slightly of a saison. It’s a refreshing beer that sits comfortably next to their award winning lager and tasty IPA.


Crystal clear and straw in color, Belgian Congo pours with a quickly falling white crown.


The nose is welcoming though a bit underwhelming with hints of yeast, a light funk, grass, pine and citrus.


Where the nose may have been lacking in punch, the flavors more than make up for it with a more pronounced Belgian character. A touch of funk and fruity yeast arrives first before quickly replaced with a solid helping of grassy, piny hops. Together the flavors make for a layered profile that is backed by a moderate level of hop bitterness that lingers nicely in the clean finish. Below everything is a subtle bit of bready malt to help balance everything out.


The label mentions that this brew has a “twist” to it. I’m assuming that’s the use of the secret yeast strain within its hoppy depths. Regardless of what the twist may be, Belgian Congo is an outstanding example of an American Pale Ale that’s got a heavy Belgian influence. Fruity, hoppy, refreshing and easy drinking (despite the near 7% ABV), the beer is one seasonal that I will happily spend my money on year in and year out.


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