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Corsendonk Pale Ale is introduced.

Phoenix Imports Ltd., of Ellicot City, MD, is now importing Corsendonk Monk's Pale Ale, a golden Trappist-style ale brewed in Belgium. Monk's Pale Ale is a companion beer to Corsendonk Monk's Brown Ale, a darker Trappist-style ale introduced by Phoenix last year. Both beers are produced by Keersmaekers, a secular brewery that is carrying on the medieval brewing traditions of the Corsendonk Abbey (which was closed in 1784).

Monk's Pale Ale is offered in several packages, including an enormous three-liter bottle. According to George Saxon, president of Phoenix Imports, this large bottle, or "jerobaum," is the largest retail beer bottle sold in America. "This unique package offers unmatched merchandising opportunities for restaurants, taverns and pubs," he says. "It's ideal for displays to stimulate interest in gourmet beers and makes a stunning presentation at table, although we recommend that on-premise marketers limit sales to groups of four or more!"

Phoenix reports the Corsendonk ales are bottled with their natural yeast, which provides a second fermentation in the bottle. After bottling, the beers are warm-conditioned for two weeks and then cool conditioned for three months. According to Phoenix, this allows Corsendonk ales to mature in the bottle [double dagger] the pale for two years and the dark for up to five.

Beer critic Michael Jackson describes Corsendonk Monk's Pale Ale as "a deceptively potent ale in the golden |triple' strength style of Belgium's Trappist monks." As Jackson records in his book, The World Guide to Beer, the Belgian tradition of brewing strong ale extends back through the middle ages. According to Jackson, the tradition of brewing these strong beers may derive from the desire for a full-bodied beer to serve as "liquid bread" during Lent.

In Jackson's review of the beer, he said that Monk's Pale "has a very clean palate, beginning with a dry, lightly citric fruitiness, and finishing with a distinctive and delicate, perfumy hop character. Very light and fluffy in texture, giving little hint of its great strength. This beer has living yeast in the bottle, and will evolve with age, becoming softer and cleaner."

The beer received a five star rating in the World Beer Review, which described it as "elegantly balanced, with a long complex finish."

The advertising slogan for the beer is "Corsendonk: gift of the gods," a phrase drawn from the facade of the Brewer's Guild House in Brussels, which is engraved: "From the bounties of heaven and earth, by the grace of St. Arnold, and through human skill was born beer, a gift of the gods."
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Title Annotation:Phoenix Imports Ltd.'s introduction of Corsendonk Monk's Pale Ale
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:May 27, 1991
Previous Article:February removals declines 2 percent.
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