If you haven’t been properly celebrating National Burger Month, you still have a few days left to make up for lost time. The American dining staple has always been enjoyed best alongside a fine, frosted ale. In New York we are blessed with a king’s bounty of both. And speaking of royalty, a classic Belgian-style tripel produced in Queens is destined to transport a pedestrian hamburger meal into a realm of mythical proportions. Atnas ale from Finback Brewery is your Beer of the Week.
Although it was brewed in the dead of winter to warm drinkers on cold and dreary nights, Atnas is hitting its stride right before the unofficial start to summer. There’s something crisp in the body of this big-bellied beer that brings forth significant refreshment. A swift swig smacks the tongue with a quenching wave most likely to elicit an ahhh! moment directly after it goes down.
Belgian tripels are typically defined by several flavor components, all of which make them exceptionally food-friendly. The ester-rich yeasts used in their fermentation deliver slivers of pepper, fresh-baked sourdough, and ripened banana. So you get a touch of zest, a splash of sweetness, and a warming finish. That warmth is courtesy of the beer’s higher alcohol by volume (ABV). In the case of Atnas, Finback has opted to rein in that heat with a sensible alcohol content of just under 10 percent. Think of this as a session tripel. But just because it goes down without resistance, don’t expect to finish more than a couple before catching a mean case of the drunken munchies.
And that’s where this month’s starring sandwich of ground beef enters the equation — preferably one topped with swiss cheese and bacon. An ideal specimen is built around an adequately fatted patty. These salted, greasy meat flavors will be heightened in the company of Atnas. It might seem strange, this merging of American and Belgian traditions, but then again, it’s a great burger with a great beer. How can you possibly go wrong? National Burger Month might end soon, but a delicious beer and burger pairing will go on all summer long.
Atnas is on tap at burger-slinging pubs in Astoria, the LES, and Williamsburg.