Expect plenty of Chimay, the ale of Belgium's Trappist monks, to be on tap this month in Charleston.
Denise Pierson, brand manager of Lee Distributors, confirmed that several executives from the brewery will travel from Belgium to Charleston to kick off a month-long marketing push to promote Chimay in the Charleston area. CEO Frank Leveque and Vice President of Sales Gianni Angeli arrive next week for a private drop-in for Lee clients and local food and bev folks followed by some special events and meet-and-greets. Regional sales managers James Williams, Luc Van Mechelen, and Michael Kuhnell will also be on hand.
Chimay is one of six authentic breweries that carry the appellation "Trappist" (alongside Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren, and Achel). The Chimay monks brew several varieties of ales within their own monastery. All of the ales are bottle-conditioned, relatively strong, and aged for long periods. The monks also produce four varieties of cheese from milk produced at their farm.
"Our goal is a month-long focus on Chimay to introduce as many people as possible to the brand through dinners, tastings, 'keep the chalice' nights, cheese tastings, and educational events in retail stores," says Pierson. "Our ads and signage will all say. 'A month-long focus on the history, philosophy, and beers of Chimay.'"
The Keep the Chalice nights take place at both Mellow Mushroom locations (Mt. Pleasant and downtown), Smoky Oak Taproom, Gene's Haufbrau, Chai's Lounge & Tapas, Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ (on Sullivan's Island), O'Brion's Pub (on James Island), and the Chucktown Tavern.
Chimay cheese and beer tastings are scheduled for the Charleston Beer Exchange Sat. Jan. 23 and at Whole Foods Market on Sat. Jan. 30. Sales reps will conduct presentations at Total Wine on Sat. Feb. 6 and Bill's Party Shop (in Summerville) on Sat. Feb. 13.
Four multi-course Chimay beer dinners are scheduled around town, including Farringdon's Bistropub on Tues. Jan. 26; Mellow Mushroom in Mt. Pleasant on Wed. Feb. 3; Wild Wing Café in Mt. Pleasant (in the Oakland Plaza) on Tues. Feb. 9; and Mercato Italian Restaurant on Wed. Feb. 10.
Mercato's general manager Troy Imler says Charleston is the first city in the U.S. to receive such a push from Chimay. He recent added the brewery's white-label Triple on draught (available for $8 per glass). At 8 percent a.b.v. the golden/orange ale is dry, crisp, and quite strong.
Look for more details and updates on Chimay-sponsored events in the Cuisine section through February.