Selkirk Abbey White Ale: All Belgian Beer Needed Was a Little Idaho

My Buddy Jeff behind the bar in his Selkirk Abbey taproom. *photo courtesy of the Spokane Spokesman Review.

“Well its about time!”  I bet that is how my buddies Jeff Whitman and Rob Walace felt about finally being able to open up their brewery Selkirk Abbey in Post Falls, Idaho.  They opened with four beers, and I have had the privilege to try two of them, the Selkirk Abbey Belgian White Ale, and the Selkirk Abbey Belgian IPA.  They round out their offerings with Saint Stephen, a Belgian saison, and the Deacon which is a peppery pale ale with a creamy mouth feel.

I must say after trying half of their offerings currently available, these guys will have a long and productive run up there in Northern Idaho.  The IPA was a great blending of the hop profile and the Belgian yeast to make for a fantastic IPA that pushes the boundaries of the style.  There were no off putting flavors or esters here, just a clean, flavorful, and refreshing IPA that I would be happy to order whenever I see it on tap.

The Belgian White Ale is a wheat style beer brewed with orange peel and coriander.  I really don’t like wheat beers.  I find most of them to be just kind of blah, watery, flavorless messes of beers that pander to noobs coming over from macros.  Not this beer!  This brew is a flavorful delight that is crisp and bright and would go great with just about anything you would like to do with it.  Going to the beach…Belgian White, having a barbeque…Belgian White, just sitting there doing nothing…Belgian white.

It is a truly masterful thing when a brewer can take two styles of beer that I could really care less about (Wheat beer, and most Belgian beers), combine them and make something that I want to shout about from the rooftops.  It would be like combining Pea Soup and rusty nails, and making the best Bouillabaisse I’ve ever had, that is what they managed to pull off with this beer.

When Jeff informed me of his plans over a year ago to start an all Belgian brewery, I’m not gonna lie, I was a little crestfallen.  I was excited about the prospects of a new Idaho Brewery, don’t get me wrong, but I was thinking that they would make a lot of the same mistakes that I believe many Belgian breweries make by being too heavy handed with their ingredients and making beer that is just too Belgian!  None of those problems here, at least in these two beers, they are flavorful without having that dark dank heaviness that seems to happen with many Belgians.

They really are brewing some masterful beers in Northern Idaho, and I for one can’t wait to try their next offering I can get my hands on!  And the good news for many of you east coast types is that you may be able to get these beers in your neck of the woods when they begin to bottle and distribute their beer.  See one of their partners owns the other fantastic brewery in Northern Idaho, Laughing Dog.  So if you get Laughing Dog, you just might be able to get Selkirk Abbey when it is ready for shipping.  Keep your fingers crossed because you’re gonna love this beer!


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8 Comments on “Selkirk Abbey White Ale: All Belgian Beer Needed Was a Little Idaho”

  1. July 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    What you mean to say is “New Jersey could use a little Selkirk Abbey.” If they come out here, we can also open a Build-a-Donny-Bear franchise…

    • Don
      July 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      That would be awesome. Perhaps we could get Ted to come out to our grand opening with a few of his hot babes!

  2. July 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    I will have to let my Spokane/Spokompton/Spokangeles/Spokaine buddies know about this. Oh, and interesting bit of history…I believe, while in college, I rode the mechanical bull at Big Al’s Country Club in Post Falls.

    • Don
      July 20, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      Don’t know if Big Als is still there, but yes, spread the word that for great Belgian goodness Post Falls and Selkirk Abbey is the place!

  3. July 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    How can a Belgian beer be too “Belgian-y?”

    • July 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      Belgian beers are generally malty, high alcohol (thus sweet) beers–agreed? Depending on one’s threshold for sweetness and/or alcohol in a beer, some Belgians are simply too much of a good thing. For folks who prefer malty beers, many IPAs are, likewise, too much of a good thing.

      Its all a matter of perspective and since its Don’s blog, that’s his perspective.

    • Don
      July 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      I think it is using a heavy hand with the yeast and the sugar. Those two flavors sometimes combine into something I’m not too wild about.

      • July 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

        Those are two of my favorite things about Belgian beers. I love that sugar flavor when it’s been fermented dry. I also think I have an unhealthy, bordering on stalker, relationship with Belgian yeast. The Belgian flavor, the happier I am. But, that’s why there’s lots of different beers. To each their own.

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