This coming Friday and Saturday marks the return of Belgian Beer & Mussel Mania to the Schlafly Tap Room; our annual festival where we cook up close to 2000 fresh mussels (“moules”) flown in direct from Penn Cove Shellfish Co. in Penn Cove, WA. and wash them down with an assortment of Belgian style beers brewed right here in downtown St. Louis, MO.
While there will still be plenty of beer styles on draft at the Tap Room to satisfy everyone’s unique tastes this weekend, we’ll be featuring 7 Belgian beer styles both on tap and in 750 ml. bottles: Singel, Dubbel, Citrus Wit, Grand Cru, Bière de Garde, Tripel, and the mighty Quadrupel. As a special point of fact, the Citrus Wit available this weekend is actually the debut of what is soon to be bottled as our newest Anniversary Series beer style, No. 20 Volume 3: Citrus Witbier!
Now, let it be made perfectly clear that one has no business discussing mussels and Belgium in the same sentence without paying proper respect to the original “Muscles From Brussels” himself, Belgium-born bodybuilder, martial artist and action film star (and action direct-to-vide0 star) Jean-Claude Van Damme, whom I will henceforth simply refer to respectfully as “JCVD”. Since the mid 1980’s, JCVD has starred in over 30 films where he has repeatedly punched, done the splits, and hurricane kicked people in the face to the delight of literally thousands of fans.
Now, in the true spirit of Schlafly Beer celebrating all things Belgian this weekend, I present to you my suggested pairings for the 4 draft Belgian style beers and the 4 mussel preparations both available this weekend as part of Mussel Mania at the Tap Room along with the appropriate corresponding JCVD film that they should be enjoyed with.
1. Schlafly Belgian Singel paired with Marinara Mussels and Bloodsport
Bloodsport was JCVD’s first starring film and in it he must compete in the Kumatai, a Chinese no holds barred underground fighting tournament to the death. Forest Whittaker and Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds are also in this movie as an added bonus. Featuring a great 80’s soundtrack including “Fight to Survive” by Stan Bush and at least 12 montages as well as one flashback within a flashback, make sure to enjoy Bloodsport with more than a few Belgian Singels.
Schlafly Belgian Singel and Marinara Mussels would also pair well with KickBoxer, which is basically the same film as Bloodsport except JCVD has to learn Muay Thai kickboxing to get revenge on the unbeatable kickboxing drug lord Tong Po, who paralyzed his brother.
2. Schlafly Belgian Dubbel paired with BBQ Mussels and Double Impact
To pair with your Dubbel, I submit Double Impact, where you get not one JCVD, but two! JCVD plays both Chad and Alex who are separated at birth, yet both miraculously grow up to become world-class martial arts experts. They reunite to avenge the murder of their parents. I think there are drug lords in this too.
Schlafly Dubbel and BBQ Mussels would also pair well with Double Team, where JCVD has to team up with green-haired basketball star Dennis Rodman in his feature debut to fight Mickey Rourke. Witty banter ensues.
3. Schlafly Grand Cru paired with Garlic Butter White Wine Mussels and Timecop
JCVD’s top grossing film, Timecop takes us all the way to the distant future of 2004 where time travel is possible and JCVD is the best cop working for the “Time Enforcement Commission” … and he has an awesome mullet. Martial arts + time travel + Grand Cru + shellfish + mullets = Martialartstimetravelgrandcrusshllfishmullets.
Schlafly Grand Cru and Garlic Butter White Wine Mussels would also pair great with Universal Soldier. JCVD and Rocky 4’s Russian-nemesis, Dolph Lundgren play reanimated dead American soldiers from the Vietnam war, turned elite futuristic anti-terrorist squad…until Dolph turns bad! Spoiler Alert: JCVD does the splits.
4. Schlafly Citrus Witbier paired with Chili Verde Mussels and Hard Target
Hard Target was action director icon, John Woo’s first American film and boasts not just film greats Wilford Brimley and Lance Henriksen in supporting roles, but we also get JCVD sporting an even more awesome mullet than he had in Timecop. Most importantly, the film features a scene where JCVD karate punches a rattle snake. The citrus from the orange peel, lemon peel, and grapefruit peel of the Wit should compliment the green chilies in the mussels quite nicely.
Schlafly Citrus Witbier and Chili Verde Mussels would also pair nicely with JCVD. Yes, I know it’s confusing but in 2008, JCVD starred in a film where he plays himself called JCVD. In the film, JCVD is a broke, down on his luck action movie star who returns to his hometown of Brussels when he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a hostage situation and the police mistakenly believe he is responsible! This one’s worth a rental, folks. See you this weekend.