By Ryan Urban
Last winter on a trip to Duluth, Minnesota, I made the goal to visit all of port city’s breweries. Bent Paddle, Canal Park, Fitgers and Lake Superior all offered distinct spaces and great beers.
After browsing Blacklist’s lineup, I searched the Internet earnestly to find its location. I was, of course, disappointed to find it didn’t have one. It was an increasingly-rare contract brewery only.
But, I received a serendipitous consolation, finding Or de Belgique on tap at the Tavern on the Hill restaurant.
I had never heard of Blacklist before that weekend, and had no real expectations.
But I was blown away at first sip. The beer is a malty 9.5% Belgian Golden Strong Ale with all the wonderful complexity associated with the best in the style–Honey, lemongrass, pear, banana, spice and more.
This past January, I visited the Twin Ports again. A quick “Google” revealed that Blacklist now had a taproom. It became the first stop.
In a long, but spacious building with minimalist reclaimed wood trim and barrel-based tables, my female companion and I enjoyed being waited on by a helpful server.
An export stout—simply titled Dark–caught my eye, and proceeded to please my palate. But what next?
Though it wasn’t on the menu, I asked for Or de Belgique, hopeful there was a bottle somewhere. No such luck. But the server pointed to Verte, which he said was Or de Belgique with some extra dry hopping. I took a bomber to go.
I popped it a week later, and was not disappointed.
Dangerously easy-drinking, Verte has the marvelous complexity of the original, with an added dimension with tangy aroma and dryness from the Saphir hops.
I’ll be seeking another bottle on my next trip north. Paired with a salmon plank would be perfect.
Glass – Growler – CASE – Keg