Anatomy of a Great Beer, The Singel

The Singel is not only Hardywood Park’s flagship beer but also a favorite for many of us in the office. The recipe took years to develop and has a complex flavor that is a combination of fruitiness and spice, followed by a crispness not easily found in most beers. We caught up with Patrick Murtaugh who serves as Hardywood’s Brewmaster for a few notes on the makeup of this great beer.

Release Date:
October 2011

Style:
Belgian Blond Ale

Color:
A cloudy gold with a white head and medium lace

Hops:
English and Czech varieties

Taste:
Subtle tropical fruit flavors upfront with a bit of spiciness from Saaz hops* with a fairly dry finish

Finish:
Most Belgian Ales have a sweet after taste but the Singel has a dry crisp finish

Food Pairings:
Perfect complement to southern fare like fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, and a wide variety of seafood, particularly steamed mussels, lobster with drawn butter and crab cakes.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery served as the location of our photo shoot for the current collection of Short Run Shirting. If you have a chance to visit the brewery or happen to find the Singel in your hometown, we highly recommend an order.

* Saaz is a variety of hops named after the Czech city of Žatec (German: Saaz). When used in beer, the aroma is very mild, earthy, herbal and spicy.

One comment

  • I’m a beer writer from Seattle, visiting family in Richmond. I tasted Singel and was at first puzzled and then sorta disappointed. My brother, who is not any sort of beer geek, nailed it: “To me, this tastes like a Drier version of Sam Adams Pale Ale”. And he was right. I haven’t been back to VA since the craft beer phenomenon has exploded and have now tasted five of the in-state beers. None of them showed any particularly distinctive character. The scene here is pretty new, yet. I know it’s fashionable to heap praise on your local breweries and I DEFINITELY advocate everything about “Drink Local” but it does your local breweries NO good at all to pump up the quality of the beers vs. their counterparts from other places. If brewers don’t get honest, objective feedback from consumers, the incentive to improve is considerably diluted. Try some other Abbey-style ales from elsewhere and then reevaluate Singel. If your experience leads you to believe that Singel is a great Abbey-style beer, work on your experience.

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