In times like these, many people look to a higher power for understanding and assurance.

In times like these, many people look to a higher power for understanding and assurance. So, for this First Draft it made good sense to explore some brews made by monks. Maybe this First Draft can help us find answers to the questions of the day or at least find another good brew to help us put those worries aside for a while.

First Draft Reviews Chimay

Chimay is a family of brews that come from Trappist monks located in Chimay Abbaye of Belgium. The monks have been making cheese and brewing beers since 1850. This work has been carried out with dedication to a higher power in a place of peace and silence to "gladden the heart of man." Sounds like something we certainly can use now.

Tasting the beers brewed by this group is almost a religious experience. From the perfection of the beer to the perfection of the glass it is poured into, there is a very structured way to drink and enjoy Chimay. There is a detailed process of storing, uncorking, pouring and drinking Chimay. Check out the web site for the process and suggested recipes for food that make this beer an experience that is hard to compare at www.chimay.com.

First Draft took some time to explore the three beers of Chimay. Chimay Red Premiere was heavenly, bearing a chestnut color. The taste is more malty than hoppy, but the rich flavor is complex with a clove-like and slight fruity appeal. The foamy head disappears fairly fast, but that does not hinder the enjoyment of this brew. This little bit of hoppy heaven makes one very happy.

Chimay beers are all natural. Unfiltered spring water is used in the brewing process and the end product is unpasteurized. This means that the life of the beer out of the bottle is short. But even with a short life, Chimay is a
product that is hard to find a comparison in that the monks pay attention to every detail of the product in a natural way. Production is not a word that can be used for what these monks do.

True to the theme of this First Draft, Chimay meets the heavenly expectation of perfection. The aroma is wonderfully peaceful and the taste gives a sense of comfort and a feeling that all will be OK. And, why not? The monks
have been brewing this beer through market crashes, world wars and the most unfriendly of times. But, their work has only improved. Chimay is not an inexpensive brew. A bottle of Chimay Premier can be found for $8.99. But,
you won't see the value of this product drop after purchasing it. In fact, you might just forget about that recession thing they keep talking about on the news.

Trappistes Rochefort 8

Rochefort 8 is another authentic Trappiste product. Brewing began at the Abbey Notre-Dame of Saint Remy around 1595. First Draft tasted the 8, one of three different beers identifiable by the different colored bottle caps. This brew, 8, is the green cap product.

This is a beer that is full of life. Upon opening, the beer rushes up to the top and almost poured itself. Be quick with this one from bottle to glass or you might not get the entire product you paid for.

The aroma is simply wonderful, alive with hops and spices. The flavor is less robust than Chimay, but still very nice with a firm foundation of taste. This is another product that can be enjoyed with a good dinner.

These monks have little to do with the Internet. The web site is a simple splash page and in French, I think. They seem to have their focus on the important things, brewing great beers and keeping the brew at the center of attention.

This is another brew that reminds First Draft of what really matters in life. Not the stock market, not the politicians who seem to spew venom with every word, not the challenges in our educational system. No, these monks
quietly remind us that life is short and should have moments of heavenly pleasure and that striving for perfection may take generations, but simple perfection can be achieved and enjoyed.

A bottle, 11.5 ounces of heaven, can be found for $4.99. Yes, it is pricy, but what is a bit of heaven really worth anyway?

Paul Carringer is a guest columnist and owner of Caring Marketing Solutions. Contact Paul at HYPERLINK "mailto:paul@caringmarketing.com" paul@caringmarketing.com.